1. Device Theft Awareness Month!

    August 6, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Nerd Topics, News by Kristina Horner

    Hello, lovely blog readers!

    Now, I don’t want to bum you out, but I do want to talk a little bit more about device theft. It’s a crappy thing that happens to a lot of people, but I’m partnering once again with Absolute LoJack Uncovered to help educate others on how and why this happens. Over the next month, I hope to help you learn how to take some relatively simple steps in your own life both to A) minimize your chances of device theft and B) make your device easier to track down and protect your identity if it does happen to you. And hopefully not make you fall asleep in the mean time with my stats – because this stuff is super important!


    This past year year, 3.1 million Americans were victims of smartphone theft. To put that in perspective for you, that’s just the number for smartphone theft. Not laptops, not tablets, not even regular phones. I don’t even want to know what that number would be if we took the rest of those devices into account (although let’s be honest, why would anyone steal a flip phone these days?)

    Jokes aside, this is a much more serious issue than you may even realize. Maybe you think your neighborhood is safe enough, so this wont happen to you. That your coworkers are all great people, so you don’t even have to worry. Maybe you just know you’re more careful than those other guys. Of course device theft wouldn’t happen to you.

    But it does.

    With the value of phones and laptops at an all-time high, they’re hot commodities for thieves; easy to turn a pretty penny. But often, it’s not just about the device itself. A cell phone is easy to replace – expensive, but easy. You buy a new one. Likely you already have your info backed up to the cloud, so within an hour, everything is back to normal. Except that your old device contains more than enough information to get you up to your eyeballs in identity theft before you can even blink an eye.

    About a year ago my wallet was stolen and I was totally devastated. The whole first night after I realized it was gone I didn’t sleep a wink, I was up all night worrying. My credit cards, my driver’s license – such powerful tools in the hands of a stranger made me sick with worry.

    When I think about how much more information I have stored on my laptop and phone, I literally feel paralyzed with fear. I think about my choice not to password lock my devices because “it takes too long”. I think about how many websites store my passwords and credit card info. I think about my email inbox, my YouTube channel, my Twitter account. All things someone would have access to if they got their hands on my phone.

    It’s just – it can’t happen. That could never happen to me, it’s too horrible.

    In a world where it’s becoming increasingly more likely that something like this could happen, a program like Absolute LoJack is so, so important. Not only does protecting my devices with their software give me peace of mind, they’re really great about taking a hands on approach to spreading awareness about how to protect yourself and to take precautions, something not nearly enough of us do.


    So this month, I’ll be sharing behind-the-scenes info I’m learning from their Investigation and Recovery Team (which is made up of forensic experts and reformed tech thieves – pretty cool, right?) to give you a better idea of what the inner workings of device theft look like.

    I know it sounds dry, but I’m going to try to make it fun. And hopefully by the end of it, you’ll have learned something as well. Let’s not become statistics. Let’s keep our devices safe.

    Follow #AbsoluteUncovered all month for more tips and stories from other bloggers! And, as a special gift to you, Absolute LoJack has offered a 30% discount to my readers on a 1-year Absolute LoJack Standard or Premium subscription. Just enter the code UNCOVER30 a checkout and the code will be automatically applied to your purchase.

    Disclosure: My partnership with Absolute LoJack includes a complimentary subscription and other consideration. All opinions, as always, are my own. 

    Leave a comment!
  2. Going #DigitallyDark with Absolute LoJack

    June 16, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Journal by Kristina Horner

    I’ve recently been in contact with Absolute LoJack – a really neat company that deals with device theft. They sell software that not only helps you secure your information if one of your devices is stolen, but also helps you stay one step ahead on being able to locate and get that device back. It’s available for laptops, cell phones and tablets and the more I learn about it, the more amazing it sounds.

    I’ve never personally had my laptop or phone stolen, but I definitely know multiple people who have. I have had my wallet stolen, and it was a similarly devastating experience. Not only is the item itself worth something to you (especially in the case of an electronic device) but the information inside it – that’s what can be really scary to lose. When I think about the information that exists on my laptop or phone and what could happen if it fell into the wrong hands… it actually makes me feel sick to my stomach.

    Knowing there are programs out there that can not only lock and delete information from your device if it gets stolen, but can also help recover it is extremely helpful to my peace of mind. Absolute LoJack asked me what I would hypothetically pay to get my computer back if it was stolen and I said “oh god, I dunno. At least $1000”. It costs so, so much less than that to take the precaution before the worst happens. That was seriously mind-blowing to realize.

    Why is this relevant to you? Well, aside from the fact that I think everyone should make sure they have a plan in place in case their important devices get stolen, I also wanted to share a project that they’re doing. Absolute LoJack has come up with the idea of encouraging people to try going “Digitally Dark” for a day – this means you cut off access to one of your important devices for 24 hours to emulate how it would feel to lose that device. The experience is supposed to make you realize how catastrophic it would be if it went missing, and to use that motivation to take the steps you need to make sure you’re covered if it does happen.

    I think this is a fantastic idea, and as much as I hate the idea of not using my phone for a whole day — I think it will be good for me. Hopefully the experience will help myself (and others!) realize how serious device theft is becoming and how easy it can be to get yourself  prepared. Over 100 cell phones are stolen every minute in the United States – that’s a horrible statistic and it’s rising all the time. This is why I am planning to go Digitally Dark this week Wednesday, June 18th.

    If you want to try going Digitally Dark WITH me, you’re more than welcome to! I will be ditching my cell phone for the entire day, and will be filming a video diary of the experience. We can commiserate online together using the #DigitallyDark hashtag.


    Let me know in the comments if you want to join me – or, if you’re just interested in finding out about Absolute LoJack, they’re offering readers of my blog 30% off any 1-year standard or premium subscription until June 30th. Check it out here and use the code “DARK30” at checkout.

    Thanks for reading, and if you decide to unplug on Wednesday – good luck!

    Leave a comment!