April 8th, 2003, 08:09 PM
Computer security at the repair shop?
I recently blew up one of my computers so it's in the repair shop. I didn't even realize till I left the store that all my personal information is on that hd. So I just got done resetting all my passswords but is there some way of protecting people against malcious computer repair people? Has anyone ever had a malicious repair person raid they're accounts and such?
I'm really interested in what my options are incase something like this happens.
April 8th, 2003, 08:15 PM
I was a repairperson for a while, and truthfully most of us where honest...but none of us was paid enough to guarantee that. I did know a few people who would grab passwords for AOL accounts and what not to get free Internet, but they would eventually get caught and fired (that doesn’t help your bank account though). I don't know of any tech that didn't snoop on the client’s computers just to see what was there. Your best bet is to encrypt anything important. But make sure your key isn't sitting on the system.
Thinking back now I remember that SOP for a lot of the techs was to search the system for any .jpg/mp3/mov ect. Files and grab the ones they wanted....Word of advice make sure there are no incriminating / embarrassing images/files on your system. On the other hand we did bust a pedophile because of one techs obsession with searching client computers for porn (this was an easy one though the incriminating photos where set up as this guys screen saver). He had brought the system in to get a video capture card installed *shudder*.
April 8th, 2003, 08:25 PM
if you blew it up, and had to bring it in to be repaired, then i would take the hard disk out of it altogether if i was you.
but i fail to see what they could repair? they are not going to go replacing transistors on your motherboard, you would get a new motherboard. and up until now, i was under the impression that if it breaks you buy a new one - power supplies, ram etc, or send the broken part into be repaired, i'm sure they would have a test system lying around. sentimental value aside, in most cases is it not cheaper to get a new item? monitors, floppy drives etc...
if it is the case where you don't know what is wrong with the computer that is broken and you are left with no alternative course of action other than to send it to the repair people or the fellars where you purchased it from, take the hard disk out of it and if they find nothing wrong, then using our powers of deductive reasoning we can conclude that
A) it's the hard disk (purchase a new one, and try to recover what you can)
B) the repair people are cowboys and probably don't know the difference between bit rate and baud rate.
where i live, there seems to be a very fine line between repair people, and sales people. often they will try sell the consumer a new product even though there is nothing wrong with the item in question.
if ArmyOfOne is readin' this, come to my country and set up a computer repair shop
Hmm...theres something a little peculiar here. Oh i see what it is! the sentence is talking about itself! do you see that? what do you mean? sentences can\'t talk! No, but they REFER to things, and this one refers directly-unambigeously-unmistakably-to the very sentence which it is!
April 8th, 2003, 08:59 PM
So really all I can do is change all my passwords to accounts that I have and probably reformat the hard drive when I get it back just to make sure they didn't but anything on it. I'm really paranoid about my information. It's probably a good thing to be safe then sorry.
Vax I did try to fix it i determined that it was probably the power supply but since the parts and the computer was still covered on warranty I figure it's the best thing to do and that way I only have to pay about 20 - 30.00 for the repair.
April 8th, 2003, 08:59 PM
pull the hard drive or at least have all of your passwords encrypted. I hope this helps you. ciao
April 8th, 2003, 09:01 PM
I agree with (V)/\>< in that you should have removed the harddrive to maintain your privacy. Changing account passwords doesn't do you too much good if someone installed a keylogger. I used to do computer repair for Best Buy's service center and let me tell you, I've seen techs steal memory, copy entire harddrives, search threw people's personal stuff and leave behind trojans. My advice for your future repairs is to remove the harddrive and also inventory all the items in the pc, amount of memory, brand names, models and serial numbers. That will protect you from those things I've list above. And definately make sure that someone signs off on your list, so you have someone on the inside that knows your not lying when you say that someone swapped out your 40gig drive for a 20.
April 8th, 2003, 09:22 PM
I have seen many parts swaps before especially with memory. A standard practice with e-machines was tow pull the ram before shipping it to the vender...I doubt you need to reformat your system when you get it back a good firewall/ Anti-virus combo will remove most of the nastys...just make sure no new ports have been opened on your system and run a full intrusive scan on it.
Remember that repair you pay $50+/hr on the techs make >=$8/hr for so they are not paid enough to care when they see a coworker stealing from you.
next time if its not booting at all pull the harddrive....or pay the extra hr charge to get in house service then stand over the guy while he works.
April 9th, 2003, 01:23 AM
Having your Pc repaired is a bit like having the decorators in. If you came home from work and found a decorator looking in your personel draws what would you do?. Probably kick up a fuss then sack them.The differnance is you don't no if a repairer has had a look at your hard drive. So i would be tempted to remove my hard drive before i sent my pc for any sort of repair.
Edit: Ok so that only deals with some hardware faults. But would you let someone into your bank account to fix a debt you may have?
If your pc is broken format :c/ s if that don't fix it then send it to the repair shop.
What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry
April 9th, 2003, 03:41 AM
Another thing that you could do would to back up all of your important data and put it on a cd, then erase the important stuff off of your computer. Then when you get it back just put it back on.
April 9th, 2003, 07:42 AM
July, when I finally break down and take the ol' sys to a repair shop, I have this crappy 2 gig drive that runs Win95, and has NOTHING on it, but the drivers that run my hardware. I also use it as a base for Ghosting other drives like 166' <shudder> (where I work, we have some crappy computers that can only handle Win95) That way, they can snoop all they want, and they wont act suspicious when I turn in a system with no harddrive.
Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes"; They will say, "Women don't have what it takes".
Clare Boothe Luce