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DawnM

PSA: Computers, cars, anything that needs to be wiped

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When you sell something to a company that promises to wipe data clean, do NOT trust that.

 

We purchased a car around November, it was a used car, from a dealership.

 

When I hit the "home" button on the GPS, it shows the address of the previous owners.  When I hit "bluetooth connect" it shows the previous owners' phones and asks if I want Dave or Kathy's phone to connect.  

 

It is very easy to figure out who they are based on that information.

 

Anyway, wipe your own stuff clean is my PSA.

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Ugh, yeah.

 

Related:  don't put your exact home address in the GPS, but use something close enough that the GPS is not needed to get home at that point.  (But not someone else's home address.) Our "home" is a fake number on a cross street near ours, in a business area.  Someone I know uses the local police station as her "home" address.  

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Ugh, yeah.

 

Related:  don't put your exact home address in the GPS, but use something close enough that the GPS is not needed to get home at that point.  (But not someone else's home address.) Our "home" is a fake number on a cross street near ours, in a business area.  Someone I know uses the local police station as her "home" address.  

 

excellent idea

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So talk to me about why this is dangerous. When we file a property tax appeal we have to submit comps and we just go online and look at properties and the details show us the owner's name and address.  There are tons of ways to find a name an address.  So what am I missing as far as that being a  problem?  Not trying to be argumentative- just trying to learn. 

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So talk to me about why this is dangerous. When we file a property tax appeal we have to submit comps and we just go online and look at properties and the details show us the owner's name and address.  There are tons of ways to find a name an address.  So what am I missing as far as that being a  problem?  Not trying to be argumentative- just trying to learn. 

 

Car theft is often a crime of opportunity.  May as well not hand them the home address so they can go there too.  

 

Even putting in a fake address would just slow thieves down.   Our address is on our registration papers in the glove box.   I realized after I made my earlier comment that we'd set that up when we had a standalone GPS unit.  At that time, they were often stolen and we didn't want our home address in it, in case ours was.  Those days are over now, but I think anything to slow a thief down is helpful.  

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  Those days are over now, but I think anything to slow a thief down is helpful.  

 

Our best protection against thieves has been a nosy neighbor. Last week we had some junk hauled off from our basement (at 7 AM) and he came over and questioned the guys to be sure they weren't stealing from us.   I guess there's one good thing about him being all up in our business. But FTR, he's the only one who has stolen from us- he dug hostas out of our yard and planted them in his.  

 

Do people who steal cars really go to the house to steal? I have never heard of that. It seems pretty stupid.  Then again, criminals do some pretty dumb stuff. 

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Our best protection against thieves has been a nosy neighbor. Last week we had some junk hauled off from our basement (at 7 AM) and he came over and questioned the guys to be sure they weren't stealing from us.   I guess there's one good thing about him being all up in our business. But FTR, he's the only one who has stolen from us- he dug hostas out of our yard and planted them in his.  

 

Do people who steal cars really go to the house to steal? I have never heard of that. It seems pretty stupid.  Then again, criminals do some pretty dumb stuff. 

 

LOL about your neighbor.

 

I don't know if car thieves generally will go to the house.  To me, it's a simple thing to do, costs me nothing, and might slow down anyone who was inclined that way.  

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After watching last week's episode of Criminal Minds where the "perp" was hacking into cars while they were being driven to mow down random pedestrians, I think I will avoid all this by keeping my old "dumb" cars.

 

I will really sound old, but I much prefer a paper map to that stupid voice on my phone saying "turn left here" when there isn't even a road there.

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After watching last week's episode of Criminal Minds where the "perp" was hacking into cars while they were being driven to mow down random pedestrians, I think I will avoid all this by keeping my old "dumb" cars.

 

I will really sound old, but I much prefer a paper map to that stupid voice on my phone saying "turn left here" when there isn't even a road there.

 

I like paper maps too, but if I'm driving alone...   :-)

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I like paper maps too, but if I'm driving alone...   :-)

 

 

I used to use paper maps even when driving......that Thomas Guide was my Bible when I lived in LA.  

 

Ah, the good old days.

 

In fact, we are going through things in the attic right now, in preparation to move, and I found the Thomas Guide I foolishly bought as soon as we moved to NC.  It is useless here, a completely different animal.  I never used it.  And then GPS came around.

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RE: Hard Disk Drives.  On one of those I would use DBAN    https://www.lifewire.com/dban-dariks-boot-and-nuke-review-2619130

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:   I am not sure if DBAN is safe to use on an SSD (Solid State Drive).  One needs to be *very* careful about which Disk Utilities one uses on SSD.  

 

 

OT: The last 2 Laptops we purchased, and this "Mobile Workstation", I won in eBay auctions, from a Seller in PA. They sell everything as "INCOMPLETE LAPTOP". i knew when I bid on it, that this Mobile Workstation did not have an HDD (Hard Disk Drive) in it.   I suspect that many of the Enterprise (Corporate or Government) customers remove the HDD or SSD from their machines, before they return them, when the Lease is up.  That is the safest way to protect your data...  Or, thoroughly destroy the HDD or SSD...

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So talk to me about why this is dangerous. When we file a property tax appeal we have to submit comps and we just go online and look at properties and the details show us the owner's name and address.  There are tons of ways to find a name an address.  So what am I missing as far as that being a  problem?  Not trying to be argumentative- just trying to learn. 

If your car gets stolen and has all that information in there, they can drive straight to your home, knowing they just abandoned you whereever they stole the car from, and you probably don't know the car is stolen yet, and use the car to get easy access to your home and steal from you there too.

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Do people who steal cars really go to the house to steal? I have never heard of that. It seems pretty stupid.  Then again, criminals do some pretty dumb stuff. 

 

 

They do here.  They'll steal a car from a public parking lot, assume that means there's less chance of someone being at home since the car was out (not always the case!), get the address from the GPS or the registration (which most people leave in their glove compartment), use the remote controlled garage door opener to get easy access to the house, load the valuables into the car, and make off with the car and the other loot.  And they can sometimes have all of this done before the owner even realizes the car has been stolen, much less has even had a thought about the safety of their home.

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If your car gets stolen and has all that information in there, they can drive straight to your home, knowing they just abandoned you whereever they stole the car from, and you probably don't know the car is stolen yet, and use the car to get easy access to your home and steal from you there too.

Sure, but we have four cars- and many families have more than one car. So it's not like stealing my car is a guarantee that nobody is home.    And my glove box has my registration so it's pretty easy to find out where I live. 

 

I think it's far more likely that a thief is going to case a neighborhood and watch people leave for work/school or other signs that nobody is home. 

 

I'm just not that worried about my stuff, I guess. 

 

I don't post things on Facebook when we are on vacation- I don't know who all can see things with my privacy settings. Like, I don't post a pic of us taking off on vacation with a 'see you in two week's caption because if a friend posts a reply, I am not always sure if their friends can see their reply. 

 

And I safeguard my keys like crazy. I don't want anyone having my keys.  

 

I guess we all have our little pockets of things we're concerned about. 

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They do here.  They'll steal a car from a public parking lot, assume that means there's less chance of someone being at home since the car was out (not always the case!), get the address from the GPS or the registration (which most people leave in their glove compartment), use the remote controlled garage door opener to get easy access to the house, load the valuables into the car, and make off with the car and the other loot.  And they can sometimes have all of this done before the owner even realizes the car has been stolen, much less has even had a thought about the safety of their home.

 

I must live in a crazy safe place. I haven't heard of that happening once in our town.  

Edited by Annie G
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I must live in a crazy safe place. I haven't heard of that happening once in our town.  

 

 

That's wonderful.  Where I live, crime is twice the national average.  It's pretty common here.  

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Follow-on to my reply in post #12:    DBAN (and other utilities like it) SHOULD NOT BE USED ON AN SSD.   If you need to wipe a SSD, download the Utility from the Manufacturer of the SSD.  In this Mobile Workstation, the SSD is a Corsair, so I have the "Corsair SSD Toolbox" installed on the SSD and if I needed/wanted to wipe the SSD, I would use the Utility they have built into "Corsair SSD Toolbox" to do that for me 

Edited by Lanny
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I have a friend in the business of delivering and maintaining computer security. He cleaned up a disk I was never going to use again after he got my photos off it.  Then he smashed it with a hammer.  That's secure. 

 

But I did not know about the SSD thing, so thank you Lanny, and I would never have thought of the car / BlueTooth thing.  I did think of the GPS thing, but my dh's truck has a GPS that leaves markers of the roads you have traveled and it wouldn't be hard to figure out where we lived, anyway...and the registration is in the glove box.  So I left that one alone.  

 

The thing *I* learned recently is to lock your car even in your driveway even in an upscale / nice neighborhood.  I went out to my car one morning to find the console panel open, the ashtray open and ****all 47cents*** GONE.   :::sob:::  It was odd, though.  But that's not really about data security...just me blabbing on.

 

 

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I have a friend in the business of delivering and maintaining computer security. He cleaned up a disk I was never going to use again after he got my photos off it.  Then he smashed it with a hammer.  That's secure. 
 
But I did not know about the SSD thing, so thank you Lanny,
 

@Patty Joanna you are welcome. That would not work with an SSD. A HDD is a Mechanical thing and can be destroyed by brute force. An SSD has things where the data is/are stored, and one would need to individual destroy those. so they could not be read again.
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When we were eating Breakfast this morning, I told my wife and DD about this thread and about the fact that a car with a GPS is a danger and that how one of the people in the thread has a nearby Police Station listed as her home.  My wife said that it is worse than them knowing where you live. They can check everywhere you have been...   The technology is wonderful, when it helps us, but, if it is used against us, it is very dangerous.

 

In the past 3 years, we purchased 3 Refurbished laptops from Blair Technology Group, and I won 2 "INCOMPLETE LAPTOPS" and this "INCOMPLETE MOBILE WORKSTATION" from an eBay Seller in PA.  I never found *any* trace of the previous owners.  It would have been interesting to know, which corporation or government agency they'd been in before, but I saw absolutely nothing that would indicate   where they'd been originally.

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Deleted: Double Post. There was an Error Message when I first tried to post, and then I did it again, but apparently it had worked the first time, although I received an Error Message.  .

Edited by Lanny

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When we were eating Breakfast this morning, I told my wife and DD about this thread and about the fact that a car with a GPS is a danger and that how one of the people in the thread has a nearby Police Station listed as her home.  My wife said that it is worse than them knowing where you live. They can check everywhere you have been...   The technology is wonderful, when it helps us, but, if it is used against us, it is very dangerous.

 

In the past 3 years, we purchased 3 Refurbished laptops from Blair Technology Group, and I won 2 "INCOMPLETE LAPTOPS" and this "INCOMPLETE MOBILE WORKSTATION" from an eBay Seller in PA.  I never found *any* trace of the previous owners.  It would have been interesting to know, which corporation or government agency they'd been in before, but I saw absolutely nothing that would indicate   where they'd been originally.

 

I am not following why the GPS taking you to the police station would be worse?  

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We don't seem to have many cars stolen here but a common crime is breaking in to an unlocked car.  It is amazing to me what people leave in unlocked cars= wallets, phones, purses, guns, etc.  I don't leave anything and lock my car.  I do leave things in the car when we are traveling- suitcases, etc. but do lock my car and never have had a problem. I think enough people don't lock their cars so it is just easier to steal from them.

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Uh, my cars all have my registration and insurance info in them, and I believe those have my home address on them. So a thief could just use those to get to my home.

 

I have had a car stolen. It was stolen from in front of my home. They didn't attempt to rob our home, just drove around for a while in the car before wrecking it. (And it was locked. I always locked the car. The thief broke into it. It was the one night DH hadn't put the Club and Shield on it like he usually did.)

Edited by happypamama

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I don't have a GPS in my car, but I use a Google Maps app on my cell phone that works the same way.

 

Follow-on to what I wrote in this thread awhile ago.  When we were talking about this over Breakfast, my wife told me that after our trip to Orlando, at the end of April 2016, she could see where "our" car (the car we rented from Dollar) had been after we had it.  I believe that is on Google Maps, because I think she'd removed Waze from her Android phone before our trip to the USA.

 

How that works, what she described, I have *no* idea, but I am sure that it is true.   Very very scary stuff there...

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There is a reality show "Hunted" which just aired here in the US which showed people on a "fugitive" type hide and seek game.  It was eye opening how the hunters could find them tracking their phones, cars, data stored in the Cloud and traffic cameras with license plate readers. 

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Ugh, yeah.

 

Related:  don't put your exact home address in the GPS, but use something close enough that the GPS is not needed to get home at that point.  (But not someone else's home address.) Our "home" is a fake number on a cross street near ours, in a business area.  Someone I know uses the local police station as her "home" address.  

 

Great idea!!

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There is a reality show "Hunted" which just aired here in the US which showed people on a "fugitive" type hide and seek game. It was eye opening how the hunters could find them tracking their phones, cars, data stored in the Cloud and traffic cameras with license plate readers.

That show was interesting to watch. Dh thought some of the info the hunters received would be illegal without some sort of court order. I wondered how much time elapsed between the hunted doing something and the hunters receiving the info. Much of it didn't seem to happen in real time. Dh also said it would be easier to track me because I have a Facebook acct and he doesn't.

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I am not too concerned about someone finding out my name and address--that is on tax records and available many other places.

 

I am sitting here wondering what to do with an old copier/scanner.  I had a friend who worked for the FBI who said that all of the the machines have memory in them.  Not only can the FBI recover things, but some criminals look for them for identity theft purposes.

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Ugh, yeah.

 

Related: don't put your exact home address in the GPS, but use something close enough that the GPS is not needed to get home at that point. (But not someone else's home address.) Our "home" is a fake number on a cross street near ours, in a business area. Someone I know uses the local police station as her "home" address.

I have a fellow physician friend who uses the hospital address she works at as "home". I initially thought it was a joke--she definitely has weeks she feels like she lives here. Of course they also do live within walking distance of the hospital and it was her husband's idea of a security measure.

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Our best protection against thieves has been a nosy neighbor. Last week we had some junk hauled off from our basement (at 7 AM) and he came over and questioned the guys to be sure they weren't stealing from us. I guess there's one good thing about him being all up in our business. But FTR, he's the only one who has stolen from us- he dug hostas out of our yard and planted them in his.

 

Do people who steal cars really go to the house to steal? I have never heard of that. It seems pretty stupid. Then again, criminals do some pretty dumb stuff.

Ah the Hosta thief guy returns, I remember him. See everyone has at least a few redeeming qualities.

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