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Tip of the Week: My Company Device Has Been Lost or Stolen, Now What?

b2ap3_thumbnail_lost_devices_can_be_a_major_problem_400.jpgMobile devices are one of the hottest items for thieves to target. According to reports from Consumer Reports and LoJack, 2013 saw the theft of two million laptops and three million handsets. What this means for you is that having your mobile device stolen is probably a lot more likely than you would think.

The loss of a mobile device means much more than just losing a piece of pricy technology (which can be replaced). It also means the loss of the data stored on the device, and easy access to all the accounts associated with the device if the thief doubles as a hacker (which could lead to identity theft). Not having access to one’s data is why, in a recent survey by IDG Research, 50 percent of phone-theft victims said they would pay a ransom of $500 just to get their phone back, while another one-third would pay $1,000.

Obviously, having your mobile device lost or stolen is a big deal, especially if the device contains corporate data. If you happen to find yourself in this predicament, what are you going to do next? Let’s assume for a moment that you didn’t have the foresight to install any of the great security apps on your device, allowing you to track down the phone’s location or remotely shut it down. Without the assistance of any preventive security solutions, a thief will only have a lockscreen standing between them and your data.

Here are four steps that will let you control the damage caused by a lost or stolen mobile device.

Contact Your Mobile Service Provider
Contacting your phone’s service provider about the theft is a good move because, depending on the make and model of your phone and the details of your service contract, your service provider may be able to remotely access your smartphone and “brick it” (render it useless). At the very least, notifying your service provider will prevent the thief from making calls using your account. Also, it’s important that you quickly contact your mobile service provider about the missing device. Otherwise, the thief will be able to bypass this “bricking” feature by removing the SIM card and still have access to the data stored on your device.

Change All of Your Passwords
If the thief happens to gain access to your smartphone or laptop, they’ll easily be able to open all accounts associated with the device. We don’t have to tell you how devastating this can be, especially if your bank account or corporate network were to be accessed. One of the best ways to keep a thief like this out of your accounts is to login to all of them and change the passwords. You’ll want to do this sooner than later so that the thief doesn’t have enough time to figure out your passwords.

Report the Theft to the Authorities
While it’s unlikely that reporting the theft of your mobile device will lead to a full-scale investigation, it will give them information they can use to spot patterns, which might be enough to eventually get your device back. You never know.

Notify Everybody Affected
The toughest part comes next: notifying everyone that the device is gone. It can be embarrassing to contact everybody about your negligence, but you may be actually legally obligated to do it. The reason why it’s so important to do this is because the data connected to the lost device could lead to stolen identities. As humbling as it will be to write that email to your clients, they will appreciate the fact that you’re taking proactive measures to protect their sensitive information. To help smooth things over, paying for a year’s worth of identity theft insurance will go a long way.

By taking these four steps, you should have a good grasp on damage control. Moving forward, the best way to protect yourself and your business from this all-too-common event of mobile device theft is to reach out to Amaxx at 614.486.3481
. Call us to learn more about proactive mobile security solutions designed to give you a fighting chance.

How to Download Amazon Prime Movies and TV Shows for Offline Watching

We’ve all been there before: you’ve got a long road trip coming up, a tablet or mobile device that you love to watch movies on, and the prospect of long gaps between reliable Wi-Fi service. What’s a traveler to do? Well, fear not fellow road warrior, because unlike Netflix or Hulu, Amazon Prime is a video service that will actually allow you to download their streaming content locally to your device’s hard drive.

Click Here to Continue Reading

Create Google Chrome Incognito Mode Desktop Shortcut

Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode is a great way to use the browser without any of your browsing or downloading history being recorded locally on your machine or in your Google account. It is a simple way to browse privately so that anyone who has physical access to the computer will not be able to see what sites you visited.

It’s worth noting that Incognito mode is not some way to browse the web securely or anonymously. For example, you can still be tracked online by your ISP, your employer or by the website you are visiting. In Incognito mode, cookies are not downloaded, but web sites can still see your IP address. In addition, you can still be infected by malware or spyware if you visit malicious sites.

However, the ability to erase your browsing footprint on the local computer is a great feature and very useful for many occasions and situations. You can enter Incognito mode in Chrome in a couple of different ways: you can right-click on the taskbar icon, choose New Incognito Window from the menu panel when you click on the settings icon in Chrome or by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + N and Command + SHIFT + N in OS X.

new incognito mode

new incognito window

If you use Incognito mode a lot, however, a good idea might be to create a desktop shortcut that opens Chrome directly to Incognito mode. In this article, I’ll show how to create the Incognito desktop shortcut in Windows and OS X.

google incognito mode

Windows Incognito Shortcut

In Windows, you have to add what is called a command line argument to the shortcut’s path. In order to do this, you need a working shortcut on the desktop first. If you don’t already have a Chrome desktop shortcut, you can create one by browsing to the following path in Explorer:

C:Program Files (x86)GoogleChromeApplication

Right-click on chrome.exe, select Send To and then click on Desktop (create shortcut).

chrome send to desktop

Now go to your desktop and right-click on the Chrome icon and choose Properties.

chrome properties

You should already be on the Shortcut tab where you will see a box called Target. The path to the EXE file will be listed in quotes. Click inside the box and move your cursor to the end past the last quote.

chrome target parameter

Now type in a space followed by –incognito. It’s worth noting that you can either type in a single dash or a double dash and both of them work just fine. Officially, you should put in two dashes, so that is what I have shown here.

“C:Program Files (x86)GoogleChromeApplicationchrome.exe” –incognito

When you click OK, you might get a UAC warning that you don’t have permission to make the change. Just click Continue and it should update the shortcut without any issues.

uac access denied

Now double-click on the shortcut and you should see a new Incognito window open right up. It’s probably a good idea to change the name of the shortcut also so you can differentiate between the two shortcuts.

If you want your Incognito browser to open automatically when Windows starts, you can use another command line parameter and just add it after the –incognito parameter. The parameter to accomplish this is –auto-launch-at-startup.

OS X Incognito Shortcut

On OS X, you can’t simply right-click on the dock icon and add parameters. For OS X, you have to create your own little application that simply runs Chrome with the same incognito parameter. Sounds complicated, but it’s pretty easy actually.

First, open a program called Apple Script Editor on your Mac. You can either click on Spotlight search and type Script Editor or you can go to Applications, Utilities and click on it there.

script editor

Click on New Document to create a new project file. In the top window, copy and paste the following code like shown below.

do shell script “open -a /Applications/Google\ Chrome.app –args –incognito”

apple script code

Now click on FileSave and you’ll get the Save As dialog box. First, give your application a name. This is basically the shortcut name. Next, for Where, change it to Desktop. Lastly, change the File Format to Application.

save apple script

Click Save and you’ll now see a new icon on your desktop. You can now click on this shortcut that is actually an application in OS X and it will open Chrome in Incognito mode. The only problem is that Chrome cannot already be open.

If that isn’t acceptable, there are a couple of other options. Instead of that one line of code above, you could replace the code above with the following code:

tell application "Google Chrome"
    close windows
    make new window with properties {mode:"incognito"}
    activate
end tell

This script will close all current Chrome windows and then open a new Chrome window in Incognito mode. This is still not a perfect script because all your other Chrome windows will be closed. Luckily, there is one more script you can try that does get the job done properly.

on is_running(appName)
    tell application "System Events" to (name of processes) contains appName
end is_running

set chrome_running to is_running("Google Chrome")
if chrome_running then
    tell application "Google Chrome"
        repeat with w in (windows)
                if mode of w is "incognito" then
                    set index of w to 1
                    tell application "System Events" to tell process "Google Chrome"
                        perform action "AXRaise" of window 1
                    end tell
                    activate
                    return
                end if
        end repeat
    end tell
    tell application "Google Chrome"
        make new window with properties {mode:"incognito"}
        activate
    end tell
else
    do shell script "open -a /Applications/Google\ Chrome.app --args --incognito"
end if

This script will keep any current Chrome windows open and will open a new window that is in Incognito mode. The only issue is that the icon for the application is just the default Script Editor icon.

apple script application

In order to change this, you have to single click on the application on your desktop and then press COMMAND + I or right-click and choose Get Info. In order to change the icon for a Mac application, you have to click on the icon in the upper left corner and then paste the new icon.

change mac icon

When you click on the icon at the upper left, you’ll see it is highlighted in blue. Before you paste a new icon, you’ll have to find one and copy it to the clipboard. On Macs, you can’t use JPEG or PNG images, ICO files or anything like that. You can either use icons already on the system or you have to create an .ICNS file, which is the icon file format for Macs.

To make it easy for us, just open the Applications folder in Finder and do Get Info on the current Chrome icon like shown below.

chrome get info

Click on the Chrome icon at the top left and it’ll be highlighted in blue. Now press COMMAND + C to copy it. Open the Get Info screen on the new application we created, select the script editor icon at the top left and press COMMAND + V to paste it. You’ll now have a nice Chrome icon on your desktop that you can run on OS X to open an incognito window without messing with your regular Chrome tabs.

If you run into any trouble during the process, post a comment and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!

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