List of ways you can reuse your old smartphone: by turning it into a personal surveillance system

Now there is another addition to the list of ways you can reuse your old smartphone: by turning it into a personal surveillance system to catch any unexpected guest or intruder trying to circumvent your privacy and security.

The credit goes to a new open-source Android app called Haven created by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Freedom of the Press Foundation, and the Guardian Project.

When installed on Android phone, the Haven app activates different sensors on the device. It uses the front and back camera sensors to look for any motion change in surroundings. It takes the help of the microphone to spot changes in the volume level.

The app uses the ambient light sensor to notice changes in the surrounding’s lighting. The accelerometer is used to detect motion changes of the device itself. The app also observes whether the device is charging or losing power.

You can easily monitor all the things happening around the Haven-powered device as it regularly sends recorded feed and other information to your main smartphone via Signal. The same can be accessed in Haven’s log over the internet using Tor or if you have physical access to the device.

Where does the Haven app find its utility? Well, there are many places. You intelligently place a Haven powered device beside your valuables to capture any suspicious activity and prevent unwanted things from happening. For instance, it could be your laptop containing some top-secret documents, or you can use it to protect your precious gifts from your friends.

However, some obstacles might prevent your personal surveillance system from working efficiently. Haven would require an always-on internet connection. So, a user would have to make sure the device uses mobile data in case the WiFi connection is not available. Disabling the real-time notifications or receiving them via SMS could be a workaround.

A person aware of the device’s password or pin could potentially delete the app’s log if he has physical access to the device. Another concern is that the attacker can disable the device sensors by compromising it remotely.

Still, Haven is a free watchdog you have at your disposal. Currently, the open source Android app is released as public beta. You can download it from Google Play and F-Droid.

How To Find The WiFi Password Of Your Current Network

There are different ways to retrieve the WiFi password of the network that you are connected to. Out of these, some methods include complex steps, whereas some are pretty handy and require only few commands to extract the WiFi password of your current network. Read the article to know how you can do this.

 

 

Forgetting our own WiFi password is one of the most common mistakes we often commit. It’s really irritating not knowing the password of your own WiFi network to which your most of the devices are connected and having a hard time connecting a new one. So, here I will try to solve this problem for you. (Pardon me for using old Windows Classic theme, I like it this way :P).

 

 

In the following tutorial, I am going to tell you five different methods to find out WiFi password of your current network. These methods include retrieving WiFi password on a Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android device.

 

Method 1: Finding the WiFi Password  in Windows Using Command Prompt

  • First open the Command Prompt on your Windows PC by typing cmd in the Start Menu.
  • Now select Run as administrator by right-clicking on it.

wifi-password-cmd

  • Once Command Prompt is opened, you need to type the following command in it (Replace systemdigits with your WiFi network name), and hit enter.

 

 

  • After hitting Enter, you will see all the details including your wifi password as key content (as shown in the above picture).
  • In case you want a list of your previous WiFi connections, type this command:

wifi-password-previous-profiles

 

Method 2: Revealing WiFi Password Using General Method in Windows

  • First navigate through the system tray and right-click the WiFi symbol.
  • Now select Open Network and Sharing Center.wifi-password-network-sharing center
  • Now click on Change adapter setting. Since I am using Windows Classic theme here, so you might find a little change in the icons, but I assure you that the method is same in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

wifi-adapter-setting

  • Now right click on the WiFi network and select status on the drop-down menu.

wifi-adapter-setting-status

  • Now click on Wireless Properties in the resulting pop-up window.

wireless-properties

  • Click on Security and then Show characters to find out the password of your current WiFi network.

wifi-password-simple

Method 3. Retrieve WiFi Password in Mac using Terminal

  • Press Cmd+Space to open Spotlight, and then type terminal to open the Terminal window.
  • Now enter the following command (replace systemdigits with your WiFi network name and press enter) and then enter your Mac username and password.

mac-wifi-password-network

 

  • Your WiFi password of the current network will appear in plain text.

Method 4: Extracting WiFi Password in Linux

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+T in order to open the terminal in Linux.
  • Now type the following command (replace systemdigits with your WiFi network name) and then enter your Linux username and password.

 linux-wifi-password

 

  • You will find your WiFi password there, in case you want to know the network name, type the following command:

Method 5: Finding Wifi Password in Android

This method needs a rooted Android device with the free app ES File Explorer installed on it. Follow these simple steps to recover your WiFi password:

  • Open ES File Explorer. Now in the menu, go to Local, then tap on Select Device. Here ES File Explorer will ask for the Super User permission, click and allow it.
  • Now open the folder named data and look for folder misc.
  •  Now open the folder “wifi” where you will spot a file named wpa_supplicant.conf.
  • Open it as text and look for your WiFi name (SSID). Below the SSID, you’ll find your lost WiFi password (psk).

 

Ten Free Wireless Hacking Software

There are lots of free tools available online to get easy access to the WiFi networks intended to help the network admins and the programmers working on the WiFi systems and we have picked the top 10 of those for ethical hackers, programmers and businessmen.

Internet is now a basic requirement be it office or home as it is majorly used in smartphones besides computer. Most of the times people prefer to use wireless network LAN which is much easier and cost effective.

It has been observed that the neighborhood WiFi hot-spots are visible on user’s device however one can get access to the same only by cracking password with the sole purpose of using free internet. Also in case of big firms where all the employees are connected through a wireless network admin might want to keep a check on the network traffic and hence even they need tools to crack the network.

Vulnerability in the wireless LAN is majorly due to poor configuration and poor encryption. Poor configuration includes the case of weak password mainly done purposefully by the network admin to check the network traffic. Poor encryption is dangerous as it is related to the 2 security protocols WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (WiFi Protected Access) and WPA is again of 2 types WPA1 and WPA2, WPA was introduced in 2003 as WEP protocol was easy to crack. The tools used to hack the network is used either for the purpose of sniffing the network : as is the case of network admins and
    cracking the password: used by programmers to rectify the trouble shooting and by the people who want to use internet free of cost. It has been seen that based on this concept there are around 10 tools together which can be understood to hack wireless LAN.

Aircrack

Most popular wireless password cracking tool, it attacks 802.11a/b/g WEP and WPA. This tool manufacturers also provides tutorial for installation of the tool and its usage for cracking the password. Prior to using this tool it is essential to confirm that the wireless card can inject packets as this is basis of WEP attack. This can be downloaded from: http://www.aircrack-ng.org/

2) Cain & Able: This tool intercepts the network traffic and cracks the passwords forcibly using crypt-analysis attack methods. It also helps to recover the wireless network keys by analyzing routine protocols. Can be downloaded from : http://www.oxid.it/cain.html
inSSIDer

This tool has been awarded “Best Opensource Software in Networking” and is a paid software available at a cost of $19.99. This is popular scanner for Microsoft Windows and OS X operating systems and can do a lot of tasks which can be helpful for the admins to sniff the network LAN. Can be downloaded from : http://www.inssider.com/
WireShark

This is network protocol analyzer. So again good for the network admins to keep a check on the traffic. Basic requirement is that the user should have a good knowledge of the network protocol only then they can use this tool. Can be downloaded from : https://www.wireshark.org/
CoWPAtty

This tool is an automated dictionary attack tool for WPA-PSK. CoWPatty is simple to use however it is slow as tool uses the password dictionary for generating hack for each word contained in the dictionary by using the SSID. Can be downloaded from: http://sourceforge.net/projects/cowpatty/
Airjack

This is a Wi-Fi 802.11 packet injection tool. Mostly used to check for the “man-in-the-middle (MiTm) flaws” in the network and mitigate them. Can be downloaded from : http://sourceforge.net/projects/airjack/
WepAttack

This is an open source Linux tool for breaking 802.11 WEP keys. While working with this tool a WLAN card is required and basically the tool attacks working key using the dictionary words. Can be downloaded from : http://wepattack.sourceforge.net/
OmniPeek

This is again network analyzer tool working only on Windows OS. This tools captures and analyzes the network traffic. The tool can be also used for trouble shooting. Can be downloaded from : http://www.wildpackets.com/products/distributed_network_analysis/omnipeek_network_analyzer
CommView for WiFi

This is for wireless monitoring and protocol analysis. Captured packets can be decoded by user-defined WEP or WPA keys.  This again is mainly used to monitor the WiFi traffic by the professional programmers, protocol admins and even at homes. Can be downloaded from : http://www.tamos.com/products/commwifi/
CloudCracker

This is online password cracking for WPA protected WiFi networks. It is used to crack the passwords by using a dictionary of around 300 million words. Can be downloaded from : https://www.cloudcracker.com/

Most of these tools are free; some of them are for protocol analyzers to monitor the trouble shooting whereas others are for hacking the password for unauthorized internet access also there are tools which use the dictionary words to crack the password.

For the network admins and the professional programmers these tools should be more helpful for understanding the cracking of password and hence helping them professionally.

However, one needs to be cautious when using the tools as this might be an offense to use the tools to crack the passwords and get unauthorized access to the internet in some countries. Also such kind of tools are also used by cyber criminals and terrorists to get easy access for free usage of internet anonymously.

Learning to become a Hacker.

Hacker doesn’t mean “to use hacking tools which made by professional or by other anonymous hackers”  if you do use hacking tools you would called “cracker” or “noob” in the hackers world.

Becoming a hacker is not an easy job, it needs a lot of interest, passion and hardwork. If you are interested in hacking or in cyber world then it’s not a tough job for you to become a hacker.

So let us elaborate in steps for becoming a hacker

1. Learn about basic computer stuff (using operating system, and other stuff)

Learn using operating system, fixing every problem you face in your pc, then you should use multiple operating systems like linux or more,

2. Learn about networking concepts

Learn about networking concepts, new networking terms (protocols, ip addresses, http, ftp and more)

3. Learn c programming language or Javascript

c programming language, is the first language picked mostly for learning programming

4. Learn php scripting language

As per the professional hackers, php is much more useful for hacking into web entities, php is also useful for web developing

5. Try to understand how hacking tools work

You can use hacking tools which are made by experts, but this won’t make you a hacker, more a script kiddie or noob (this is real hackers would call you). In order to get a real hacker, you need to understand how hacking tools work and be able to code them even yourself.

6. Learn about new malwares

Every week new malware is being introduced to the cyber world which are made by black hats, in order to gain fame, earn money or more. Learn about malwares through hacking websites.

Do some research on them, particularly about how they are working

7. Learn some white hat hacking

It’s your choice whether you want be  black hat or white hat, while white hats are known as good guys, black hats are the ones doing illegal things with their hacking skills, either for personal interests or for money. Do some white hacking, it will help you gain experience in hacking, if you want be white hat, then you should participate in bug bounty programs.

8. Try to make tools with python

Python is a widely used programming language, you can use python for making your own hacking tools, or other programming languages in which you are good, but python is the most preferred language used by hackers for making hacking tools

9. Most important step is secure yourself from being hacked

Before starting into hacking stuff, it is important to secure yourself from being caught or being hacked by using a VPN or other methods.

10. Spend a lot of time with hacking and programming

The more time you spend with hacking or programming, the more you’ll become stronger

So spend at least 4 to 5 hours daily,

 

Macro Malware Is Back From The Dead, Here’s How To Defeat It

Macro-malware-backShort Bytes: The notorious macro malware from the 1990s is making a comeback in a big manner. The latest security reports suggest that macro malware attack techniques have evolved with time and you need to be extra cautious. Read this article to know how macro malware works and know the steps to defeat such attacks.

Macro malware is back – it’s the latest word on the street – according to the security researchers at MacAfee Labs. They have just released their regular threat report that outlines the latest security trends. Hiding in Word documents, Macro malware first rose to the surface in the 1990s.

But, why are we witnessing a sudden rise of the Macro malware in the last month? The MacAfee Labs report tries to find out the reasons and mentions the steps that need to be taken to secure ourselves.

If you are an avid follower of the security trends, you would remember the familiar message from about 20 years ago that read “Warning: This document contains macros.” Threats like WM.Concept (first macro virus to spread through Word) and Melissa (first mass-mailing macro virus) haunted the PCs until Redmond took steps to calm them down.

How does macro malware work?

A Macro automates the frequency of a performed task and does it repeatedly. Usually, a macro malware is a piece of embedded code hidden in a document. If it’s attached to a Microsoft Office file, it’s usually written in Visual Basic for Applications.

macro-malware-return

Whenever some infected PC’s user performs an operation like opening a document or starting Word, a macro malware runs automatically. Due to the popularity of Microsoft Word, this malware spreads easily. When Microsoft recognized the threat, it changed the default Office configuration and stopped allowing macro execution.

Why has macro malware returned?

Many big organizations use macros and make themselves prone to the risk by opening the backdoor. As a result, hackers take the advantage of the situation and use methods like social engineering to facilitate the return of macro malware. It is spread through spam email attachments with frequently changing subjects to avoid detection.

In the recent years, the increasing popularity of the Office software has allowed them to access more low-level PC features. During the past few quarters, we have noticed a huge increase in the macro malware. As a result, the Office macro threat is at its highest level in the past six years.

macro-malware-return
How to defeat macro malware attack?

After being around for almost two decades, the new breed of macro malware has become more efficient and flexible by utilizing features like PowerShell.

macro-malware-return-word

    To defeat such attacks, you are advised to install the operating system and Office updates and patch the vulnerabilities regularly.
    Use an antimalware software and configure it to scan all email and attachments. Turn off the settings that allow the documents to download and open directly.
    Don’t open unexpected documents received in emails and configure your browser security settings to the maximum level.
    Look for pings from IP addresses like 1.3.1.2 or 2.2.1.1, etc. from internal computers.
    Be extra cautious while opening empty documents that ask you to enable macros to views the content.

Source: MacAfee Labs.

3 Easy Steps that Protect Your Website From Hackers

As a webmaster, is there anything more terrifying than the thought of seeing all of your web-developed work being altered or wiped out entirely by a nefarious hacker?  You’ve worked hard on your website – so take the time to protect it by implementing basic hacking protections!

In addition to regularly backing up your files (which you should already be doing, for various reasons), taking the following three easy steps will help to keep your website safe:

 

Step #1 – Keep platforms and scripts up-to-date

One of the best things you can do to protect your website is to make sure any platforms or scripts you’ve installed are up-to-date.  Because many of these tools are created as open-source software programs, their code is easily available – both to good-intentioned developers and malicious hackers.  Hackers can pour over this code, looking for security loopholes that allow them to take control of your website by exploiting any platform or script weaknesses.

As an example, if you’re running a website built on WordPress, both your base WordPress installation and any third-party plugins you’ve installed may potentially be vulnerable to these types of attacks.  Making sure you always have the newest versions of your platform and scripts installed minimizes the risk that you’ll be hacked in this way – though this isn’t a “fail safe” way to protect your website.

 

Step #2 – Install security plugins, when possible

To enhance the security of your website once your platform and scripts are up-to-date, look into security plugins that actively prevent against hacking attempts.

Again, using WordPress as an example, you’ll want to look into free plugins like Better WP Security and Bulletproof Security (or similar tools that are available for websites built on other content management systems).  These products address the weaknesses that are inherent in each platform, foiling additional types of hacking attempts that could threaten your website.

Alternatively – whether you’re running a CMS-managed site or HTML pages – take a look at SiteLock.  SiteLock goes above and beyond simply closing site security loopholes by providing daily monitoring for everything from malware detection to vulnerability identification to active virus scanning and more.  If your business relies on its website, SiteLock is definitely an investment worth considering.

site lock hacking protection

 

 

 

Step #3 – Lock down your directory and file permissions

Now, for this final technique, we’re going to get a little technical – but stick with me for a moment…

All websites can be boiled down to a series of files and folders that are stored on your web hosting account.  Besides containing all of the scripts and data needed to make your website work, each of these files and folders is assigned a set of permissions that controls who can read, write, and execute any given file or folder, relative to the user they are or the group to which they belong.

On the Linux operating system, permissions are viewable as a three digit code where each digit is an integer between 0-7.  The first digit represents permissions for the owner of the file, the second digit represents permissions for anyone assigned to the group that owns the file, and the third digit represents permissions for everyone else.  The assignations work as follows:

4 equals Read
2 equals Write
1 equals Execute
0 equals no permissions for that user

As an example, take the permission code “644.”  In this case, a “6” (or “4+2”) in the first position gives the file’s owner the ability to read and write the file.  The “4” in the second and third positions means that both group users and internet users at large can read the file only – protecting the file from unexpected manipulations.

So, a file with “777” (or 4+2+1 / 4+2+1 / 4+2+1 )permissions would then readable, write-able, and executable by the user, the group and everyone else in the world.

As you might expect, a file that is assigned a permission code that gives anyone on the web the ability to write and execute it is much less secure than one which has been locked down in order to reserve all rights for the owner alone.  Of course, there are valid reasons to open up access to other groups of users (anonymous FTP upload, as one example), but these instances must be carefully considered in order to avoid creating a security risk.

For this reason, a good rule of thumb is to set your permissions as follows:

  • Folders and directories = 755
  • Individual files = 644

To set your file permissions, log in to your cPanel’s File Manager or connect to your server via FTP.  Once inside, you’ll see a list of your existing file permissions (as in the following example generated using the Filezilla FTP program):

chmod 1

The final column in this example displays the folder and file permissions currently assigned to the website’s content.  To change these permissions in Filezilla, simply right click the folder or file in question and select the “File permissions” option.  Doing so will launch a screen that allows you to assign different permissions using a series of checkboxes:

chmod 2

Although your web host’s or FTP program’s backend might look slightly different, the basic process for changing permissions remains the same.

5 ways to find what Google knows about you


Five ways in which you may find out what information does Google possess about you

Since Google has become the synonyms with Internet, the whole science of advertisement has somewhat changed. But one thing has remained unaffected-Threats of your personal information being leaked or sold to some ad-company. We are here with some ways you can know upto which extent your details are being kept.
1.Account Login Details

Using Google you can actually check all your account login details that will include all the device details with which your account is logged in. And also the location of the device where your account is logged in. And your can use this service at the page Google Security with your account.
2.Google Dashboard

This is one of the cool feature of Google where you can see all the summary of your Google account in a single place. This will include all yours calendar records, your contacts details, your sync bookmark, your cloud printed documents and lots of things that you will get to know when you use this. So visit the Dashboard to see all these details.
3.Google Ads you clicked

This is one of the cool thing that keeps track on your internet ads interest activities, with this you will get to know about the ads that you had clicked and all these will be categorized according to their type and you can see all your clicks interest. So visit Google Ads page today.
4.Recent activity on Web or Apps

This is the another cool feature that allow user to check out their searches keyword that they had used in some of apps and with that you can have a look on the most used or searched keyword by visiting the Web & App Activity Page.
5.Location History

One of the best feature that provided by the search engine website to user is the location history. This feature can be really helpful when you want to find any missing person by checking its location history. You can manage each and everything easily. You may like to visit Google Location History.
 

You Can Hack Into a Linux System by Pressing Backspace 28 Times. Here’s How to Fix It


Grub Vulnerability : You can Hack into a Linux PC/laptop just by pressing ‘Backspace’ 28 times

Most of us swear by Linux as a super secure operating system but two security researchers from Spain have discovered a unique vulnerability in Linux which could give even a noob access to a Linux powered PC.
Here’s How to Exploit the Linux Vulnerability
If your computer system is vulnerable to this bug:
Just hit the backspace key 28 times at the Grub username prompt during power-up. This will open a “Grub rescue shell” under Grub2 versions 1.98 to version 2.02.
This rescue shell allows unauthenticated access to a computer and the ability to load another environment.
From this shell, any potential attacker could gain access to all the data on a Linux computer, and can misuse it to steal or delete all the data, or install persistent malware or rootkit, according to researchers Ismael Ripoll and Hector Marco, who published their research on Tuesday.
According to Ripoll and Marco, the Grub vulnerability affects Linux systems from December 2009 to the present date. They have stated that even some older Linux PCs may be affected by this bug.
Patch
The good news is the researchers have made an emergency patch to fix the Grub2 vulnerability. So if you are a Linux user and worried your system might be vulnerable, you can apply this emergency patch, available here.
Meanwhile, many major distributions, including Ubuntu, Red Hat, and Debian have also released emergency patches to fix the issue.

How to bypass Android’s lock screen pattern, PIN or password

How to bypass Android’s lock screen pattern, PIN or password

The main reason to set up some sort of lock screen security on your smartphone is to keep strangers (or friends) from checking out your messages or private pictures. Beyond that, you don’t want anyone who dares to steal your phone to get full access to your mails, pictures or other sensitive data. But what if you’re the one who cannot access your phone? You could forget your PIN or pattern, right? Or someone pranks you by setting up a lock screen pattern and just leaves you struggling with it.


In any case, there’s quite an easy solution to this without smashing your phone against a wall (or your friend’s face). The only thing you need is to have Android Device Manager enabled on your device (before you locked yourself out of your phone). If you have a Samsung phone, you can also unlock your phone using your Samsung account.
Forgot your Android lock screen pattern, PIN or password? Here’s what to do
I tested the following methods using a lock screen pattern, PIN and password and was able to unlock my LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 successfully.

Unlock your Android device using Android Device Manager (ADM)
As already mentioned, the following method only applies to devices that have Android Device Manager enabled.
1.    On a computer or other mobile phone, visit: google.com/android/devicemanager
2.    Sign in using your Google login details that you also used on your locked phone.
3.    In the ADM interface, select the device you need to unlock (if it isn’t already selected).
4.    Select ‘Lock’
5.    In the appearing window, enter a temporary password. You don’t have to enter a recovery message. Now click ‘Lock’ again.
6.    If it was successful, you should see a confirmation below the box with the buttons Ring, Lock and Erase.
7.    On your phone you should now see a password field in which you should enter the temporary password. This should unlock your phone.
8.    Now, before you go on with your life, go to your phone’s lock screen settings and disable the temporary password.
9.    That’s it!

new
 
Unlock your Android lock screen pattern with your Google Login (only Android 4.4 and below)
If you haven’t updated your firmware to Android Lollipop (5.0), then there’s a faster way to unlock a lock screen pattern.

em
1.    Enter a wrong lock screen pattern five times (shouldn’t be hard if you don’t remember the correct one)
2.    Select ‘Forgot Pattern’
3.    Now you should be able to enter a backup PIN or your Google account login.
4.    Enter either your backup PIN or your Google login.
5.    Your phone should now be unlocked.

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Bypass your Samsung phone’s lock screen using its Find My Mobile tool
This is an easy way to unlock your Samsung device if you created a Samsung account and registered it beforehand.

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1.    Go to Samsung Find My Mobile.
2.    Sign in using your Samsung login details.
3.    In the Find My Mobile account interface you should see your registered phone on the left hand side. This tells you that you’re phone is registered to that account.
4.    On the left sidebar, select ‘Unlock my screen’.
5.    Now select ‘Unlock’ and wait for a few seconds for the process to finish.
6.    You should get a notification window telling you that your screen is unlocked.
7.    That’s it. Your phone should be unlocked.
 

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Disable your lock screen using custom recovery and “Pattern Password Disable” (SD card needed)
This method is for more advanced Android users that know what the terms “rooting” and “custom recovery” mean. As the title says, for this to work you need any kind of custom recovery installed and your phone must have an SD card slot. Why the SD card? Well, we need to transfer a ZIP file to your phone and that’s usually not possible when it’s locked. The only way is to insert an SD card with the file.Unfortunately, card slots became kind of a rare thing in the smartphone world, so this will only work for some people.
Here’s what you need to do:
1.    Download the Pattern Password Disable ZIP file on your computer and put it on an SD card.
2.    Insert the SD card into your phone.
3.    Reboot your phone into recovery.
4.    Flash the ZIP file on your SD card.
5.    Reboot.
6.    Your phone should boot up without a locked screen. Should there be a password or gesture lock screen, don’t panic. Just type in a random password or gesture and your phone should unlock.

Erase your phone (and lock screen) using Android Device Manager
If all the methods above didn’t work out, you need to move on to more drastic measures. In case Android Device Manager is enabled on your phone and unlocking it didn’t work, you can use it to erase all data by selecting the Erase button. Be aware that this will delete all apps, settings and other data on your phone. The good thing is, once the erasing process is done, you can use your phone again (after setting everything up).
 

Reset your phone to factory settings
If Android Device Manager doesn’t work at all for you, your last resort is to make a factory reset on your device. On Nexus devices, this can be done in recovery mode, for example. Below, we take you through the reset process that work with Nexus devices. If you own a different Android phone, check out this site and look for your manufacturer’s support page.

How to perform a factory reset on your Nexus using recovery mode:
Important note: If your Nexus device is running Android 5.1 or higher, you’re required to enter a Google username and password associated with your device after the factory reset process finishes. This is a security measure to make sure that no stranger is reseting your phone or tablet. If you fail to enter that data, the phone won’t be usable anymore. Really make sure you know your Googel username and password.
No matter what version of Android you’re running, you need to have an internet connection and if you just changed your Google account password, you need to wait at least 72 hours before starting the reset process.
1.    Turn off your device.
2.    Press the volume down AND power button and keep pressing them. Your device will start up and boot into the bootloader (you should see “Start” and an Android lying on its back).
3.    Press the volume down button to go through the different options until you see “Recovery Mode” (pressing volume down twice). Now press the power button to enter recovery mode.
4.    You should see an Android on its back and a red exclamation mark.
5.    Press and hold the power button, then press and release the volume up button. Now you should see “Android Recovery” written on the top together with some options.
6.    By pressing the volume down button, go down the options until “Wipe data/factory reset” is selected. Press the power button to select this option.
7.    Using the volume down button again, go down until “Yes – erase all user data” is selected. Make sure you read through the notes above and then, finally, press the power button to start the reset process.
8.    Once the process is done, press the power button to select the reboot option. Your device will now reboot and start the inital setup process of your device. That’s it! All you need to do now is to set up everything and restore your data.
You can also check out Google’s official page and follow the instructions there.

As already mentioned earlier, be aware that reseting or erasing your device will delete all data like apps, settings, videos and pictures.

 

How to Track and (Potentially) Recover Your Stolen Laptop or Android with Prey

 

Laptops are lighter and more powerful than ever; they're also easier to steal. Luckily, a genuinely versatile and powerful track-and-recover application is also free. Here's how Prey works, and how it could save you a month's rent in new laptop cost.
 

Why Prey?
There are obvious reasons to like Prey. Chief among them, it's free to use for up to three devices of any kind, from computers running Windows, Mac, or Linux to Android devices. But that wouldn't mean anything if the tracking Prey provided wasn't really solid. It's not fool-proof, especially if the thief wants to entirely wipe your computer or phone, but if that's not the case, it gives you a fighting chance.

On a laptop with a webcam, a Wi-Fi chip, and Prey installed, it's a good bet you'll have a photo of your thief and an approximate location on them just as soon as they have your computer running for a few minutes. You don't have to actively search, either—devices with Prey installed in the background "phone home" to your web-based account every 20 minutes by default (you can decrease this interval), spilling their guts about everything they're doing.


Webcam snaps, desktop screenshots, lists of modified files and running programs, network data galore, and much more are provided to those who want to quietly track their, uh, prey. If you'd prefer to think that maybe someone just found your device, you can set read-aloud alerts, fire off alarms, change the system wallpaper, lock it with a password, and remotely wipe out your browser data—all from any browser you can get to.
The basics of installing and using Prey are covered in the video, but here's a brief run-through:

Step One: Set It and Forget It
 
Head to Prey's download section, grab the package for your system (again, Prey supports Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android), then install it as normal, creating an account as you do so. The only major issue to address is how you want to control your system and track it if it goes missing. Most people will want to stick with the default, web-based standard method, but those who would prefer an email-based, server-controlled tracking setup can explore an "Advanced" option. I'm focusing on the default Prey + Control Panel setup.
Because it's tracking software that doesn't want to be seen, Prey is almost invisible when it's running on your system, without any configuration or executable files to be seen. In fact, once you've deleted the installer, you shouldn't be able to find Prey at all in your system, because that's the idea. It quietly and quickly checks in with Prey's servers in the background, at an interval you decide, to see if the owner has logged in and marked it as stolen. That's all it does—until you flip the switch on Prey's servers to note that it is, in fact, stolen, or ask for an update on the hardware profile.
 
After you've installed Prey and set your defaults, log into Prey's web center, and peek at the basic configuration tools. You can give each of your devices a unique name, clarify its details, and change the frequency of its reporting time. You can set the frequency to a reasonable 20 or 30 minutes now, but don't worry—you can update it as soon as your device is swiped, so you won't be wasting those precious early minutes wondering what's up.
Step Two: Set Your Modules
 
The Modules menu on Prey's site determines what happens when your device checks in and notices that it's stolen (if only computers could recognize their strange meta-existence). There are two types of modules: the quiet, informative "Report" modules, and the more aggressive "Action" modules that secure your data, and likely let the thief or finder know that you know your stuff is missing—and that you've got a way to track it.
 
Report Modules: In general, you'll want to switch all these on. You never know what might come in handy, and it's not too much more effort for Prey to grab any one item more than the others. You can set limits on how much raw modified data and running program information is thrown your way, but the defaults are fine, if voluminous. The most important module to turn on is Geo, which uses Google's Wi-FI location API to try and triangulate a laptop's location—or the GPS chip in an Android for very accurate positioning.
The main exception would be the "Webcam" option. If your laptop has a webcam that must activate a very distinct light or LED before snapping a picture, it could be an obvious give-away and tip your hand. MacBooks, for example, turn on a green LED when grabbing images from the webcam. If you wanted to go stealth and not let the unlawful owner know you had them, you could shut this off—but you'd likely be better off trying to grab at least one picture of the thief unawares. (He or she may not be perceptive or paranoid enough to catch what's going on.)
 
Alarm modules: When subtle won't work, Alarm Modules provide you with your next best chance of alerting the thief, the person who bought stolen goods from the thief, and potentially anyone near them, that your laptop is your laptop. Failing that, some alarm modules can at least wipe out any potentially revealing information about you.
Alarm, Alert, Change Wallpaper, and the password-protected Lock are pretty self-explanatory. Our volunteer "thief" Whitson reported that the alarm is, in fact, quite loud and attention-getting, and that the pop-up alert comes up over anything else you may be doing.
The "Secure" module is where you make your big security decisions. You can set Prey to wipe out your entire password keychain, delete data from Firefox, Safari, or Chrome (sorry, Opera users), or wipe down Outlook or Thunderbird. A total account wipe-out would be a nice option, of course, but there's likely a compromise between making Prey still active and having data deletion access.
Android SIM Protection
Android phones set up with Prey actually have fewer reporting and alarm modules than laptops, but they do have one unique feature: SIM card protection. If a thief attempts to swap out the SIM card in your phone, the new SIM number is captured and text-messaged to a contact you set up in the Prey options. With that kind of data and a police contact, you're pretty close to tracking down your phone.

Step Three: Using Your Reports
 
So you've registered Prey on your laptops and Androids, and if it gets stolen, you'll get an email announcing a new report is drawn up every X minutes. Now what?
First things first, report your laptop or device stolen to the police. The cynical may assume they don't care or don't have the know-how to track your gear, but the cynical often aren't shielded members of a law enforcement agency. Give the police everything you have on your device, including serial numbers, identifying stickers or characteristics, and the last place you knew you had it. It never hurts. When using the similar "Find my iPhone" feature of the MobileMe service, police in Madison, Wisc. were able to track down two iPhones stolen from a store. Your mileage will vary, but it's best to head through official channels first.


If you're on your own, you can hope that the thief or other person toting your laptop makes a regular run of certain Wi-Fi spots. You'll have the IP address they're connecting outward from, the name and details of the Wi-Fi spot they're connecting to, and a list of the programs they're running, connections they're making, and other details. Your best hope is that geo-location through available Wi-Fi can point you somewhere unique in an uncrowded neighborhood, or that the Wi-Fi they connect to is unique and identifiable. If your webcam can grab a clear snap of the thief, all the better. If you've got nothing quite so unique and helpful, a visit to the traceroute and other tools at network-tools.com (or nearly any site resulting from a "traceroute" Google search) can potentially get you closer to your missing goods.

NOTE: Reporting to a the Police at first is usually advisable.