i do think that probably one of the safest ways you can use a public computer is to remote connect to your home/work deskop and work from there, and plan on changing the password when you return home. that minimizes the risk pretty much.. and means that only if someone sniffs the password you used to log in to your remote computer and uses it to connect to your remote computer are you at risk, which is pretty low risk, especially if you're away for a short time.
now, this immediately suggests that an extremely useful feature for a vpn/remoteconnect tool would be the use of one-time pads
, single-use passwords, hardware key ids. anyone know of any vpn/remote desktop that supports this?
with such a setup, you would remote connect to your desktop, do everything through your encrypted connection to your home/work pc. you would assume that the local pc is compromised and keylogging everything you type. but the password they sniff would no longer get them in. only by keeping a list of single-use-logins with you in your pocket will you be able to log in.