MacBook stolen - what to do?

ninecows

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 9, 2012
42
33
Hi there

Somebody broke into our house and stole my wifes 2011 MacBook air. Everything has been reported to the police and hopefully the insurance will give her a new.

Of course we have no backup of the data on it so we can assume that everything is lost, but what about private sensitive data like email accounts, calender, cookies giving access to other accounts etc? Neither have we installed any tracking software our self.

She has emails in the mail program on Mac (She uses imap server) and well... There's loads of stuff they can access. We have changed the password for the email and Google calender, but will the iCal and email program still show the content if they're able to log on to it?

She has a nice long password needed to log on to the Mac, but how easy is it to hack that? Is it likely that they can access her data or is all they can do to wipe it?

And given the serialnumber we have are their any changes of tracking were it is?

I hope somebody can help... She's really scared about what they can do
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,956
32,314
Boston
sorry to hear, but if you didn't encrypt the drive, then all the data is accessible by the thief. Other then reporting the theft, there's nothing else to do :(
 
Comment

ninecows

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 9, 2012
42
33
So whats the use of having a password protected log on if everything is open?
 
Comment

Beanoir

macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2010
571
2
51 degrees North
So whats the use of having a password protected log on if everything is open?
Can't you wipe your MBA using FindMyMac through iCloud? I think you need Lion to be installed correctly with a partition for it to work though.

To be honest if it's just a common thief, the likelihood they'd even try (or know how to crack the password) and access your data is unlikely as they will just want to sell it on, probably on Ebay or something. A new owner will just re-install OS on it and carry on without ever looking at your data.

Having said that, it's probably a good idea to make sure you alert your bank and card providers and change all your passwords for online websites etc.
 
Comment

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,835
4,500
"Between the Hedges"
^^^
Agreed

Typically thieves are targeting the device, not the data on the device, and they will wipe it clean themselves
If data is readily available and useable (no password, accounts linked), then identity theft could be a problem, but typically thieves targeting data have more efficient means

Most thieves have no use for old emails with personal information, etc

Passwords are like locks, they keep the casual intruder out
But if one is persistent, talented and motivated, they can usually be bypassed
 
Comment

ninecows

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 9, 2012
42
33
Thanks... Apparently she has not activated iCloud so we're out of luck in that respect.

We cancelled all creditcards, internetbanking and similar stuff and we'll just have to hope for the police to find it :-(
 
Comment

Satnam1989

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2011
1,200
0
Illinois
Thanks... Apparently she has not activated iCloud so we're out of luck in that respect.

We cancelled all creditcards, internetbanking and similar stuff and we'll just have to hope for the police to find it :-(
police won't find it...they usually don't do anything about lost items like this....other than take reports.

As for your thief the odds of him/her actually finding your sensitive data are pretty slim, nerds don't usually rob people's houses....thief jus looking for quick money and is most likely just gonna find a way to reinstall lion...which is actually quiet simple if you hold down "Option+R" and jump into recovery. Check your local craigslist for all you know the person will be selling it for a quick buck....just play it cool and be like "hey I was wondering if I can get the serial # just wanted to check if the laptop has warranty" for all you know you might even find your thief....
 
Comment

Queen6

macrumors 604
I tend to agree common theft is not looking at benefiting from your personal data, however it very much depends on whom the thief passes the machine onto. The very least you have to do is reset all your passwords, cancel bank cards etc,

In future you really should activate "Find my Mac" I dont want to come across as preaching, however in the event of a physical loss being able to remotely wipe the system is highly advantageous. Or third party solutions as Apple`s answer is frankly too commonly known.

i am also mindful of the systems physical security and am moving ever more to a Cloud based solution with robust encryption, having valuable & personal data/information on a device is becoming less attractive by the day. The Cloud combined with a local backup that is shall we say less than obvious look to be very much the future.

For instance I have pretty much ceased running mail accounts on my Mac`s, the only device i actually download mail to is my Samsung 7.7 Tab, Why it`s always with me, if stolen i can immediately remote lock/wipe from any cell phone with a simple SMS command, not having to rely on the thief using the Internet over wifi...
 
Last edited:
Comment

Puevlo

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2011
633
1
It's true that most random thieves wouldn't worry too much about the data compared to the Mac itself. However are you certain this was random? It's possible that someone is targeting you and your family. Possibly they want to use the data for blackmail or something far more worse. They now know everything about you. Where you like to eat, your daily schedule. Everything.

Be careful.
 
Comment

Ccrew

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
2,035
3
Thanks... Apparently she has not activated iCloud so we're out of luck in that respect.
(
No iCloud, no backups, little to no security.If nothing else maybe this can be a lesson on what NOT to do next time.

Good luck and I hope you recover it.
 
Comment

Similar threads

Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.