As a "webmail service" (web based email), Windows Live Hotmail can be accessed from anywhere you find a computer and an internet connection. And since, in practical terms, every browser you'll find supports Hotmail (list of web browsers supported by Hotmail), you will not have any difficulty logging into your email account, regardless of the operating system installed on that machine (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux...) But there are two non-technical concerns to keep in mind when you check Hotmail at school or at work, for example: these are the security of your account, and your privacy. This tutorial gives you some pointers on accessing your emails from a semi-private environment like these.
Sign in to your Hotmail account from school or your workplace
First, let's start with a brief overview of security measures to use: Both at school and at work, you will either have your own computer (which you can lock when walking away from it), or a shared computer; a shared computer will either have everyone use the same user account, or allow each one to have his or her own profile on the machine. Based on your scenario, here are some safety tips:
- If you have your own computer that can be locked, you can in effect login to Windows Live Hotmail just as you would from home. Just make sure to lock or turn off the computer when you need to step away, to avoid having a work colleague or another student voluntarily or accidentally accessing your Hotmail account from an unattended PC or Mac.
- If you use a shared computer, but logon to it using your own user name and password, follow the same security precautions mentioned above. All modern operating systems allow to have multiple users signed in at the same time on a given computer, so your locking your own profile will not prevent others from accessing that machine.
- If you use a shared computer provided by your school or workplace, without the ability to log into your own account (or lock the machine to prevent others from using it), security is a major concern: the safest option in that scenario is to anonymously sign in to your Hotmail account, which will not leave any traces- most modern web browsers offer that functionality.
If you cannot use this anonymous setting, the next best thing is to make sure to manually logout and confirm that you are completely signed out. Concerning sign in options, take a couple of minutes to read our "Hotmail Sign in from a public computer" tutorial, which applies if your campus or workplace makes the same machine and user name available to all users.
Your email account and privacy concerns at school or at work
Security precautions outlined above are just half of the equation: even if you trust all your colleagues or classmates, you never know what email message their eyes may come across. A single sensitive email seen in your Hotmail account may get you fired or ostracized! The easiest way to avoid intrusions of privacy at work or at school is to (1) check your emails when no-one or few people are around, and (2) always logout of your account and close the browser window when you are done.
Use common sense and follow your comfort level
Note that these are general and commonsensical guidelines: how you actually proceed depends on your comfort level and the types of emails in your inbox. If you apply for jobs using your Windows Live Hotmail account, for example, don't use the email account as the one you check from your current workplace!
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