Jason was robbed last night. I think I’ve decided that you can’t call it mugging unless they physically assault you. He was on his way home at midnight last night – on our block in fact – when he heard someone coming up behind him. Three guys came up, one in front and two behind. The one in front did most of the talking. The guy was holding something that could be construed as a gun, but was not verbally aggressive as he asked Jason for his money.
Jason’s a smart, level-headed guy. I think he reacted exactly right. He didn’t say much, and didn’t answer questions like “what’s in your backpack”, whereas I would probably laugh nervously and make jokes about how heavy my giant 17″ laptop was.
Anyway, Jason didn’t answer questions, but when the guy demanded Jason’s money, Jason got out his wallet and handed the guy the cash – not the wallet. Then they asked about his backpack. He said nothing. They asked about a phone. He said nothing.
The guy in front of him said something to the effect of “give me your phone and we’ll leave you your backpack”. So, Jason gave then his iPhone. Then the guys left.
My initial reaction was that of vigilantism. No one threatens Jason *bears teeth*. We called the police, and auto-deactivated the phone using AT&T’s ‘press 4 if your phone is lost or stolen’.
Then we spent at least an hour thinking of all the passwords that needed changing. It’s an iPhone – it has access to everything. I did some research, and learned that there are some precautions you can take, both with apps written specifically to thwart and with social engineering like calling the phone or seeing what calls show up on your account.
Anyway, I now know about all sorts of awesome hacks to add a secret dye pack to your phone, as I am a librarian and I take comfort in knowledge.
How do I wrap this up? I’m not scared, but I am much more aware of the little things I’ve decided I should be doing to protect myself. Better encryption, maybe iRedHanded, and not walking alone late at night.