ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

4 ways a thief can benefit from your stolen hardware

Updated on June 23, 2015
Source

What would happen if someone stole your PC, laptop or your smartphone? Obviously, the problem with these devices is that they are filled with sensitive information that we don’t want anyone to see. But what would actually happen if you become the target of a thief and they stole your device?

Well, I’m glad you asked, here are 5 ways a thief can profit from your stolen hardware.

1. Selling your device

Most likely the first thing a thief will do is to sell your device. Getting couple of hundred dollars is not a bad thing. If you take a quick look at EBay, you will find laptop bids that can reach around $600.

The price of an iPhone is hard to find below $600. So you can see how thieves can benefit a lot from selling your devices. It’s also notable that it’s extremely easy to sell a stolen device whether it’s on EBay or somewhere else.

2. Selling individual PC Components

Selling individual components is like selling second hand car parts. A thief can fetch more cash when selling individual components, but of course this depends largely on what he is selling and the condition of it.

For example, a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) has a higher price than a hard drive. GPUs usually sell for $100 to $300 on EBay. But the component that can bring lots of cash is the chassis. They range from $100, to the most expensive case such as the Lian Li Aluminium ATX Chassis, which can sell for over $1000.

3. Blackmailing you

Blackmailing is the best way a thief can profit from stolen devices, but this depends on what info you store on your device.

Last year, Sony fell victim to a scary hacking attack which displayed this warning: “We’ve obtained all your data, your secrets and top secrets. If you don’t obey us, we’ll release data shown below to the world.”

The majority of these attacks are targeted for medical professionals, since their devices are filled with sensitive data about their customers. These customers then become the victims of blackmailing.

While sensitive information that leak is worrying to the victim, sextortion can be the most devastating example of blackmail. According to the FBI, the use of explicit material, whether it is a video or an image, to obtain money from the victim is increasing day by day. This method makes the thief dominate the victim in such ways that victim feels powerless. An example of this was a case of a 24 year old whose laptop was stolen and then was followed by threats to release his NSFW footage. He committed suicide.

The best way to avoid this embarrassing situation is to never store any adult materials of yourself or spouse on your PC, laptop or smartphone. If you do, then make sure you encrypt them so no one can access them.

4. Stealing your identity

Any data that is stolen from you can be useful enough to be sold to the black market, which are priced from $2 to $5.

Your data are usually obtained from either malware installed on your devices or your stolen devices. Of course, we simply love storing passwords and other sensitive information in for easy access. This leaves us very vulnerable to any one who can access those devices.

Identity theft is a very serious problem. Criminals can create credit cards under your name, borrow loans or buy other things that they don’t pay for. Obviously, this will ruin your name and you could face criminal charges. These chargers will take years to clean up the damage.

- How to protect yourself

Falling victim to an identity theft is devastating, and could ruin your life for a long time. Therefore, making sure your identity is secure and safe is crucial.

To keep your data safe, the safest method is encryption.

Always use hard to guess passwords and don’t store them in word documents. You can use encryption based password managers. Encrypt all your sensitive files with a strong password.

And finally, use antiviruses, keep them updated and never download anything from unknown websites. Use encryption to protect your sensitive data and never share any personal details with anyone.

Visit Online Technology World for more Tech/Web?SEO tips and tricks.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)