Being computer smart in public spaces.. Why does it matter?
Do you leave your laptop alone while in a public space? Well here is a cute story on why you shouldn’t! and how fast someone can steal your data and hack your accounts….
This post is dedicated to my sweet friend Swaroop
Ok, the other day he brought me his laptop and I noticed that Chrome was missing, now Swaroop is Google boy, EVERYTHING Google! I asked him what happened Google piss ya off…lol he said Gmail has this new synch thing now that when you sign out it removes everything,
I gave him the look of WTF you talking about… then he gets back up from a co worker I was like ya ‘all are crazy, you just all clickty clickers and f*cked up and uninstalled it.
So then he says he removes himself every time from Gmail, I said WHY? Its your own personal computer, it isn’t shared unless you have given everyone your password… he had me so frustrated because there was no logic there.
So as I was re-installing Chrome, which is how I remote in to help my PC users, then he comes over so proud to show me how he is right when you remove your profile from Gmail it uninstalls Chrome… Oh he was so wrong… then the truth comes out!!!!
First he says he forgot all his passwords, so I showed him how to see them through settings, then he was like oh no, that’s not the whole thing, He then said he left his computer open for a second and he comes back and his password page was wide open and his passwords were showing.
And then his bank account was hacked and money missing. So he thought that someone was watching him inside his computer through his gmail profile, so that is why he removes himself after he uses his own personal computer.
I said that’s impossible unless you gave someone your pin to login and you have to know the pin to to open your password views.. Then I am like, WAIT! Where did you leave your computer open/unlocked and for how long? Ok now hold on to your seat!!! The LIBRARY!! Repeat the LIBRARY!!
So how long was he gone? He will never tell, but obviously long enough for the thief to watch him enter his pin and open up the settings menu – click passwords which is now easier than ever to find, it is right in your face now, used to be hidden under advanced and had to click a few things to get to it, they need to put it back there, just my opinion.
Once the thief clicked Passwords and had time to scroll or search for good accounts to steal the login and take a picture.
I asked him, do you not have the auto lock on? Or how to lock it with the short cut key by hitting the Windows key and L at the same time. He said no, so I showed him how to lock the screen real quick and was like now that I know the truth, lets’ check the computer out and see if it has a root kit installed, malware, or a virus or all three..
I also said lets check and see if you been Pwned or Pasted so I went to https://haveibeenpwned.com/ and had him type in his work and personal emails and couldn’t believe my eyes… NOTHING!!
His email and passwords are not floating around the dark net somewhere being bought for $5 like mine are, I get notices all the time, the last one was My FitnessPal got hacked 2 weeks ago, and whats funny is the person who did steal my email account and created a password I never used was hacked! So Karma baby…..
His computer was so clean not even a piece of junk malware, I was like your a computer Virgin, have never seen this before, your computer is clean and you haven’t been Pawnd or Pasted, but your bank account was hacked because you left your computer open for a long time in public and someone sadistic sat down and stole your passwords and is now logging in as you.
He did update his passwords but not immediately AFTER his account was hacked , but AFTER the thief ordered something online he then changed his passwords.
I love going to Whole Foods or the local coffee shop, Gainesville has some really great places to plug in and sit and work but if I get up to go to the bathroom or get my coffee, my purse and computer and charger come with me.
I was at Whole Foods Saturday training a client on how to use WordPress and I saw a lady get up leave her purse, her MacBook and her backpack wide open at the table, as she went to go grab food, she was gone longer than me, she was lucky as hell that no one ran out with her worldly possessions, the side door that the table was next too.
Another thing I always recommend when using public wifi is to use a VPN connection, if you have one through work like we do, USE IT!
There are ton of free ones out there, what the VPN does it creates a tunnel just for you and encrypts all the data that you transmit while on a public wifi, so in basic terms, the hacker next to you who is on the same public wifi can not capture with WireShark and see all your data, passwords, user names, etc…. and get into your computer files.
Hey you can even use the VPN at home to stream TV, movies, broadcast channels from other countries… Oh so many things a VPN is good for :). My favorite one is Hide My Ass VPN if you were wondering…. https://www.hidemyass.com/en-us/index
I hope you enjoyed my story and learned a lesson, I know my friend did, boy did I have fun with him… but hey we all have to learn from mistakes but please use LOGIC!!!