Monday, August 12, 2013

I lost my device, now what?

If you followed the instructions in my last post, activate Prey and go get some ice cream because all there is to do is wait. For everyone else, you're in for a horrible day. I'll try and make securing all of your things as easy as possible. I'm going to break this post into two sections; Phones and Tablets, and Laptops.

Phones and Tablets


Google just released Android Device Manager. It will show you the current location of your phone, and will allow you to turn the ringer on full volume for 5 minutes, and if you enabled it, lock and wipe the device.


Find My iPhone will show you where your phone is and remotely wipe it, as long as you have another iOS device.

Windows Phone 8 has options to locate, call, and wipe your phone, after signing in with your Windows ID. It will also allow you to lock your phone and put a message up on the screen.



If  iCloud is enabled Find My iPhone will enable you to completely erase the device the next time it connects to the internet. You should still reset all of your stored passwords, because if they've connected it to the internet, they had access.

Windows 7/8

If your laptop isn't encrypted, you're in trouble. As I said in my last post resetting passwords is insanely easy if you have physical access to the device. There isn't an effective way to remotely wipe the device, if you haven't pre-installed software to do it. That means it's time to start resetting all of the passwords you had saved in your browser.

Password Resets

Start with your email accounts. Email accounts are the skeleton  keys to your digital life, once someone has access, they can reset the passwords to everything else you own. Next, reset your social media passwords. A lot of sites authorize through Facebook or Twitter. Amazon should be your next change, followed by any retailers that have stored credit card information. At the very least, I would make sure to use different passwords on each of these services. You should use different passwords on everything, but make sure that these services are all unique. I recommend using LastPass or KeePass to securely store all of your logins.
Now that those accounts are safe, it's time to start working on everything else. Open up your email and type username into the email search. The results should give you a fairly accurate list of what sites have passwords that need to change. 

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