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Old 04-05-2012, 02:59 AM
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Default Recovering passwords

What is everyone's stance on password recovery? This to me is a sensitive subject, because in some cases a nephew, baby, or even a non-tech friend could change the password. I know because that has happened to me before, my sisters kid came over and put a password on my computer. So I know stuff like that can happen, but what about the people who call and say they "forgot" or "got the computer from a friend." How do you approach these situations, do you go ahead and recover the password, re-install windows, or not take the service call? What are some of your approaches to this issue? I ask because I want to be legal and want to avoid any prosecution because I recovered a password on a stolen computer. Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:03 AM
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You want to weed out people who would steal computers. You do this in 2 ways.

1. Charge a good amount of money. People who steel crap do not want to pay money if they do not have to. I was told that GS charges like $20 for a password removal, I charge $80.

2. Tell them that you will have to check their computers against the police data base to make sure its not stolen. You should do this anyways, but even if you do not, but they think you will, you will again weed out those type of people.

Pretty much anyone else who is willing to pay for a password removal after doing those two things are people with a legitimate concern.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:06 AM
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Woah, now here's something I never thought about. How can I check the police database anyway?
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by othersteve View Post
Woah, now here's something I never thought about. How can I check the police database anyway?
You can either call them and give them the description and serial or you can call your local pawn shops. They have to do this regularly, so they have a way to do it.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:09 AM
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Default password recovery

Thanks for the response. You made some great points and will use these. THANKS!
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:57 AM
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I also hadn't thought of that, but it is something I may use from here on. Thanks for that PCX!

I think the question may still be unanswered though. Are there potential legal ramifications to clearing/recovering passwords? I'd love to see some more input on this, based on real law/codes.

On the price issue there is a shop in my town that charges $20 for clearing a password, which I think is ludicrous. Removing a password is a pretty simple affair for a tech, but to the customer it is a huge deal. Re-keying a lock doesn't require over $100 dollars worth of tools or time, but I would gladly pay it to get back into my car or house. Well, I would pay it without grumbling about the price anyway.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:14 PM
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Part of the terms I have people sign (from the TN kit) include a section about them being the legal owner or being authorized by the owner to have us work on it. That way if it ever comes back to us resetting a password, we have some ground to stand on.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wise Guys View Post
What is everyone's stance on password recovery? This to me is a sensitive subject, because in some cases a nephew, baby, or even a non-tech friend could change the password. I know because that has happened to me before, my sisters kid came over and put a password on my computer. So I know stuff like that can happen, but what about the people who call and say they "forgot" or "got the computer from a friend." How do you approach these situations, do you go ahead and recover the password, re-install windows, or not take the service call? What are some of your approaches to this issue? I ask because I want to be legal and want to avoid any prosecution because I recovered a password on a stolen computer. Thanks.
If they have possession of the computer and I've no reason to suspect they are dodgy them I'm happy to do it.

If they DID appear dodgy then I might apply some tests such as asking when documents or tunes are on it - just like a locksmith will do. They'll often ask you about items in the house that cannot be seen from the outside so they can check it's your house after they've got in.

The last time I refused to do it was when the guy told me it was his work's PC and he needed to delete some data before giving it back. I told him both of us would be breaking the law by hacking that computer.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:13 PM
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There is a difference between recoving a password and resetting a password.
I always reset it. This way it stops people finding out the bosses password whilst he is on holiday, and maybe gaining access to other sites as a lot of people use the same password for multiple uses.
If a client is the legit user of a PC they should have no issue with it being reset and not recovered.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:22 PM
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That's what I have done in the past (asking about documents, settings, programs, etc on the machine), and given the size of my town, I know or know of almost everyone in the entire town, so I have felt pretty good with that as a check against stolen machines in the past. I have run into scenarios where the laptop belonged to a kid 'home from college' who needed it unlocked, or the person just in town for a few days. In those cases, it might behoove me to do a more thorough check.

The legality of it is still something I am looking into. I suppose that if a locksmith can get me into my house with little legal worries, or documentation, I am just being a little overly cautious though.
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