Find Lenovo serial number using WMIC

Happy laptop serial number

 

It can be very annoying to try and find the serial number of your laptop only to realise its on a little sticker somewhere inaccessible, requiring you to hunt for a screwdriver to remove a panel, or forcing you to power down to remove the battery.

If you’ve had your machine for a while its possible the numbers on it have faded or the sticker has partly come off, forcing you to play a vague form of hangman to figure it out.

The serial number isn’t something most people care about, unless the laptop gets stolen or they are trying to check warranty online. Trying to find the serial after you’ve lost your laptop isn’t going to be too successful so its recommended to find it and make a note just in case.

If you do find yourself struggling to get the serial by looking at the sticker this might save you some frustration:

  1. open up an elevated command prompt
  2. Type “Wmic bios get serialnumber” and press enter

if the serial is registered in the BIOS it should get displayed on screen. I’ve tested the command successfully on various Lenovo laptops, and both HP and Dell desktops.

If you are on a network you can query the serial of a remote machine using:

  • wmic /node:NameOfRemoteMachine bios get serialnumber

If you don’t have the correct permissions to the other machine, or have mistyped the computers name you can expect to see this error:

WMIC error for no access or incorrect computer name
WMIC error for no access or incorrect computer name

If you get unlucky and the serial isn’t in the BIOS you’ll get this error and start swearing as you head back to Google to find another method:

wmic-error-2
WMIC error for no entry in BIOS

 

 

Hiding the author name in WordPress

Following on from the previous article about not making the admin account easy to spot we can apply the same train of thought to a WordPress blog. The majority of blogs on this site have a single author (this blog included). That means it’s safe to assume that the author of all the articles is the user who has admin rights to the blog.

WordPress used to force people to manually add code to the functions.php file, which is attached to every theme, however they must have noticed a lot of people doing it as they’ve now added a nifty toggle switch on the site which you can use to hide the author’s name. Heres how to find it:

  1. Once logged in to WordPress select “My Site” then “Customize”.
    Hiding the author name on blogposts
    Hiding the author name on blogposts

    2. Select “Content Options”.

    3. Untick the “Display author” box.

 

Display author checkbox

Your posts should now have a blank space where the author used to be shown:

no-author
Author info hidden

Little tips/tricks like these won’t stop any determined attacker, but remember. The longer someone has to spend getting access to somewhere, the more likely they are to give up before getting what they want.

 

Untagging your tagged photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

ID tag - tagged photos

With the popularity of camera phones in recent years its very likely that anything you do on a night out with friends gets documented by someone else in either a photo or a video. Whilst your drunken dancing might be funny at the time and entertain all your friends it might not make you look like a good candidate for a job in the future (unless that job is a sloppy backup dancer).

If friends have uploaded the photos and tagged you in them it makes an interviewers life much easier when they search for your name to see what comes up.

The social sites don’t always make it obvious how to remove your tag from something so heres a how-to guide for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

How to Untag yourself from a photo on Facebook

  1. Log into Facebook and visit your activity log (little triangle in the top right corner).
    facebookactivitylog
    Facebook activity log

    2. Select “photos”, then browse the results and check any media you want to untag yourself from.

    how to untag yourself from facebook photos
    how to untag yourself from facebook photos

    3. Select “Report/Remove Tags”.

    4.Select “I want the photo untagged” and then”Untag photos”.

    Remove tag from facebook photo
    Remove tag from facebook photo

    How to untag yourself from an Instagram photo

Untagging yourself in Instagram is slightly more hassle as you need to be logged into the app on your phone or tablet, you cannot do it from their website.

  1. Open the app and go to your page by selecting the head and shoulders icon.
    instagram-iphone-untag-yourself-photo-1
    Instagram head and shoulders icon

    2. Select the clipboard in the top right.

    instagram-iphone-untag-yourself-photo-2
    Instagram clipboard Icon

    3. This should bring up a page with all the photos you have been tagged in, Browse through them and tap on the one you would like to remove yourself from.

    4.Select the 3 dots near the bottom of the photo.

    3 dots, instagram untag
    3 dots, instagram untag

    5. Select “photo options” and then “Hide from profile”.

Note: This doesnt remove the tag from the picture but it does remove it from your profile so people will have a harder time searching for it.

How to remove tagged photo from twitter

Now that twitter is about more than just 140 characters you might find yourself tagged in a tweeted photo. Praise goes to the twitter devs for making this one of the easiest sites to untag yourself from

  1. Log into your twitter account and navigate to the photo you are tagged in.
  2. Select the 3 dots at the bottom of the photo and select “Remove my tag from photo”.
    removetagfromtwitter
    Remove yourself from tagged twitter photo

    Note:This doesn’t remove the photo, it just removes your tag which makes it more difficult for people to find it associated with your account.

What is EXIF data?

Compact Camera

EXIF stands for “Exchangeable Image File Format” and is extra data that is attached to any photo taken with a modern camera or smart phone. The data isn’t visible by looking at the picture itself but requires extra software to read it.

It mostly contains information about the camera/phone used to take the photo and what settings were used such as shutter speed, date, exposure mode. The data is useful to photographers who need to know how a specific picture was generated.

How do I see it?

If using Windows you can right click on a photograph and select “Properties”, the “Details” tab should then show you the EXIF data from the photo:

EXIF Data viewable from Windows
EXIF Data viewable from Windows

There are also various free pieces of software which can be downloaded to show you the data. The top one from Google is Panda IEXIF2:

Panda Iexif 2 screenshot of Meta Data
Panda Iexif 2 screenshot of Meta Data

There are also online services which allow you to upload a photo and check the EXIF data available:

Why should I care?

The majority of the data is harmless. Most people shouldn’t be concerned about strangers finding out what generation iPhone they own by  looking up the details of a photo they have posted. The concerns arise when the photo is taken by a device connected to GPS as the users coordinates are then stored within the photo.

If the GPS EXIF data is available, someone can find out where in the world a photograph was taken.This can be very valuable data to someone trying to find out more information about you or your online identity.

If a stranger knows your name is John they have very little chance of finding you in real life, however if they know you are John who visits the same Costa coffee in a specific London street every Monday and posts a photo online they have a much better chance of finding out more.

How can I protect myself?

Luckily in 2016 most social media sites automatically remove EXIF data when you upload a photo. A quick check confirms that Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all remove the GPS data when it is uploaded.

If you are posting to a site which doesn’t strip the data you have the option to manually remove it yourself first.

Windows Exif data remove properties and personal information
Windows Exif data remove properties and personal information

The easiest way to do this in Windows is to right click on the file, select “properties”and under the “details” tab select ” choose “Remove Properties and Personal information”

There are also free online tools for removing the data before you share your photo:

The Previously Mentioned Panda IEXIF2 has a feature to remove the data, however it is part of the premium version of their software.

 

First blog post

This blog is started to help inform people about the masses of information that is being stored online about them and their lives. There are countless stores of personal details about your Internet activities and not everyone is aware that they exist, or more importantly, how to get rid of them.

If you’ve got a job interview coming up and want to make sure potential employers don’t see anything that might harm your job prospects or are just someone who wants to keep their private life private this blog aims to build up a collections of guides for how to find out what the Internet knows about you and how to remove it.Private Property