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Dustin, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 13466
Experience:  Over a decade putting the missing byte back into Apple. Also worked in The US Army as A Network Switching Systems Operator/Controller
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I recently had my macbook stolen, and my ex bought me a replacement

Customer Question

I recently had my macbook stolen, and my ex bought me a replacement mac air. It has come to my attention that he may have been behind it. How do I find out if he has installed lojack or something similar on it? I have reasons to believe he has. Thank you.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Dustin replied 4 years ago.
Welcome To JustAnswer!

My name is Dustin, And I am one of the Experts who will assist you today!

The question your asking can be quite difficult to put an answer to simply and easily... So before we get started, Id like to say that this may take quite a bit of back and forth between us before we could determine whether or not any hardware, or software has been installed that can reveal your location, or send someone else records of what your saying or doing on the computer..

Would you be willing to invest the time needed to find out?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



Expert:  Dustin replied 4 years ago.
Ok, first things first.. lets disuss Software hacking and tracking...

To be honest, if you have any reason to suspect that someone knows what your saying, doing, or reading online.. And if that same someone is the same someone who provided the computer..

Chances are that they did install something on the computer.. Theres so many free and paid programs out that that can steathily spy on you in so many different ways, It would take days and days to discuss and describe them all...

The safest and surest bet, is for us to take the time to save anything important from your computer.. Pictures, important word documents or work files, and once you have everything that is irreplaceable saved to either an online storage site such as google drive.. Or saved to an external hard drive, or cd / dvd..

Then we should factory wipe and restore the computer.. Doing so, will wipe out anything user installed.. I( whether that user was you, or the other person who had the computer before you did)

Thats a sure fire way to get rid of any tracking programs.. And to be 100% safe, that covers about 30% of what we should do..

next, we should consider that if there were any keyloggers installed on the computer.. ( example below)

We have to assume that every email account and social networking account ( facebook myspace, etc ) That its entirely possible that someone else has your passwords and has access to them..

A smart hacker, wouldnt change your password or do anything that would alert you to the fact they were accessing your account, so you would never know it was happening other then people being aware or knowing of things they couldnt or shouldnt be knowing..

So our second area of focus is Immediately and systematically changing all the passwords to your email accounts... And not just password.. You need t o review your account recovery options ( the options you use in case you have lost your password or need to reset it)

Sometimes a hacker will add their own email as an account recovery option, so that if you change the password they can get into the account again.. Also , mobile phone numbers are sometimes used to reset the password via a text message.. And the most vulnerable area are the security questions..

If your security question is, Who was my 4th grade teacher and if thats something that your ex, or any of your friends could possibly ever know.. the answer is a gateway for someone to hack into your accounts..

the best security answers are nonsensical ones that you will always remember.. For example, Security question = What was my mothers maiden name

Secure answer = ironmaiden ( something no one could possibly ever find out, or guess)

Youll want to systematically do this on all accounts you use.. Make them asolutely secure.. ( but only after ) We have done a factory reset on the computer itself, wiping everything and reinstalling it. ( which is a whole lot easier then it sounds)

If we change the passwords and security info now, and theres a spying program or keylogger on the computer.. they will simply see and know the new password.

That covers about 70 percent of what we need to do... i dont want to get into the low jack part yet, as the ground above is already quite vast and im sure that we may need to communicate back and forth to implement each part above in depth...

I have to send this as an answer, however, you dont have to rate the answer yet since we still have a bit of back and forth and questions to be asked and answered before we can say this is complete..

that being said, if you have any questions about the process stated above, the neccessity of it, or anything relating to this issue please feel free to ask...

Dustin S.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Dustin! I will get my drive wiped out and start over. I have an external hard drive to store everything. He has hacked all of my accounts before and I recently caught him at it after the new mac was given to me........thus my worry. I will take my mac to a shop to have this all done and renew all passwords etc. Thank you so much for your advice. I appreciate it...and I will be in touch when I have this done so we can progress further. Again Thank you

Expert:  Dustin replied 4 years ago.
Remember.. Wipe the computer first.. ( have the mac store do a clean install of your OSX )

Then, and only after everything has been wiped.. Then systematically change every password and all the security info for every account you have.. ( if your not sure how, just tell me the type of account and i will help walk you through it)

One more thing, if you have an ipad, ipod, or iphone.. DO NOT connect them to the mac after we wipe it.

many o fthe tracking programs run from and through your itunes account, so the ipad , iphone, etc can also be tracking your devices..

Those are so much simpler to backup and wipe though.. Ill look forward to your next replies, and if the apple store wants to charge you too much to do this, let me know and I can help you manually do these things yourself, ( all part of the same original fee that you agreed upon when you asked your question)

Good luck, and again will look forward to hearing from you in the future so we can continue working this issue.

Dustin S.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you Dustin!!!!

Expert:  Dustin replied 4 years ago.
Your welcome..

( not trying to spam message you, but its company policy that I respond to each message you send, sort of a " have to have the last word policy ".. )

And again, if the price seems to much at the Mac shop, remember that you and I can wipe the computer ourselves... Its actually quite simple to do...( backing up your photos and documents is the time consuming and difficult part, reinstalling the operating system is very easy once you know the steps)

Dustin S.