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Wipe System


OSNN Veteran Original
Now that I am living on my own, and not in a nice big expensive house far from the city, in a not the best location (better then most, but still) I am thinking about theft.

Of course I have insurance for my place and all my things but there is alot of crap on my system that I wouldn't want other people to have, I have backups of it offsite so the issue isn't losing that info.

For awhile now you can remote wipe a smartphone, I have mine setup to do that. It's quite cool.

Is there away I can do this for my desktop system, log into a webpage or application and click a button and my system is wiped clean, un-usable? I know it needs to be able to connect to the system through the internet, it must be possible right?

I was thinking about using Truecrypt on my system, but that slows down the system right if everything is encrypted and I have to uncrypt to use. And someone could technically get passed that if they really wanted too, a wipe means no luck for them.
ot could be done but you'd need to setup a netboot system and what not so a little complicated.

Best thing to do is get ahold of truecrypt and put your senistive stuff in a truecrypt volume. Just don't tick the "remember password" check box :D
There are bunches of softare packs. Here is an example. Track the stolen PC or send it a self destruct message.

Open source anti-theft solution for Mac, PCs & Phones – Prey

In addition there are many HD encryption packages that allow full or partial. Example: split your games and other programs onto an unencrypted partition and keep your data files on an encrypted C partition.

Decryption speed impact should not be noticeable outside of games. Note - since much of your programs will get stashed in pagefile they will not be getting constantly decrypted (except games, so put games on D: unencrypted). Also, pulling data off your HD is orders of magnitude slower than decrypting it. When disk compresion, a for of encyption, first came out (decades ago) HD access speeds stayed the same and sometimes actually increased because the compressed data got read off the drive faster.

Enable the bios security password if you have one. This is particularly hard to beat on a Dell.

Note - any protection including anything short of a 10x secure erase can be defeated if NSA, China, the Russian mafia, etc. really want your data. And if anyone competent sees disk activity indicating an erase starting they will pull the plug or battery and remove the HD for manual analysis.

The age old issue - it is impossible to secure your home, but all you really need to do is make sure it is easier to steal from your neighbor.

PS Never put anything on a PC you don't want stolen. Never save passwords or even account ID's if possible no matter how encrypted you think they are.


OSNN Veteran Original
Thanks for that.

And your rule among others of not saving anything you don't want stolen on a PC is crap. Everything should be digital at this point, I believe that most companies should be doing this, I also believe in credit and debit cards and no cash, etc etc. Just need better security for things.

Anyways, thanks I will try stuff out.
For what it is worth, my company installed a product called Safeboot on all laptops that encrypts all data on the hard drive. When you change your lan password, the software re-encrypts the data in the background. This insures that the data can't be accessed by removing the drive and accessing it from another computer. I doubt that it is free though. I can attest to the fact that it doesn't slow down the machine - BUT - I also don't play games on this machine.

On my home desktop (personal machine) I use the free TrueCrypt (I believe that's what it is called) and keep all of my passwords in an encrypted file. The encrypted file gets mounted as a drive when you enter the encryption password at program startup. You can save any file you want on this drive and can unmount it when you no longer need it.


OSNN Veteran Original
Oh I know its not as safe as credit cards, my point was not using cash, paper, non digital information.


OSNN Veteran Original
If I encrypt my pictures folder (which is on another hard drive, not OS hard drive) with a password. I have to enter and decrypt everytime I want to open a picture or even a folder a picture is in?


OSNN Veteran Original
Another related question, what are your guys thoughts on cloud backup.

Do you trust backing up all your important stuff to a companies servers? I am using or will be using Dropbox to do this (when ever they get around to allowing folder and file syncing abilities).
Another related question, what are your guys thoughts on cloud backup.

Do you trust backing up all your important stuff to a companies servers? I am using or will be using Dropbox to do this (when ever they get around to allowing folder and file syncing abilities).
I use SpiderOak, they encrypt your data with a key created on your own system so that they never know what your data even is - then it is upload to their severs. Keeps them from ever having to do anything with crazy laws (they can't as they can never get to your data) and also makes it so you never have to worry about a crazy employee reading your backups.


I've heard that Carbonite is also fairly good.

ps - If you ever decide to go with SpiderOak don't pay full price - look around they are always giving out deals, really good ones if you got an .edu email you can use for signup.

* Disclaimer * - I'm not affiliated with either company


OSNN One Post Wonder
I use carbonite for my clients. Simple, doesn't slow the system down, and is fairly cheap.

I don't have remote wipe for my EVO smartphone. Any suggestions?
Uh, i wasen't looking for examples and solutions guys, was just asking your opinion on them lol
Isn't that the same thing? How could I have an opinion on them without using any of them or suggesting what ones might be good? If they were all the same I might give a just "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" ... but they aren't all the same. :dead:

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