Marko Zovko

I am a programmer currently interested in the intersection of systems-level programming, cybersecurity and AI.

Please don't do this in co-working space

August 17, 2023

I’ve been traveling recently, and I spent time working in co-working spaces and cafes. They are useful when I needed sense of routine. And I needed it a lot to stay productive. But the whole time I couldn’t believe the things people are doing right in the open.

There is no force in the universe that will make me understand why people leave laptop unlocked. For 15 minutes at a time. While they leave their table for whatever. The least worst thing that can happen is your friends changing your Desktop wallpaper to something embarrassing. Someone could read your email which holds the key to all your accounts all over the internet. I can probably reset all passwords you have. I know everywhere you are registered - because I see it. It’s safe assumption you don’t have 2FA if you don’t even care to lock laptop while getting up. That’s your whole life. I could send nasty email or message to your boss or college professor or a loved one. Even if by some chance you are using password manager - I have access to your email now. Someone could do whatever they want. I could setup a forwarder of all your emails to my email.

I don’t get how people leave their phone and wallet on the table. There are credit cards and IDs in that wallet. There are apps that control your whole life on that phone. Okay - I understand I’m in another country and don’t feel as comfortable as I would be back home. But aren’t they suspicious of foreigner like me? Even worse is leaving your credit card on the table. To be fair - that specific instance was in a coworking space that has locked doors with key access. But I could take a picture of something through the the window - and I have your credit card data. Phones are harder to abuse because most people do have some kind of automatic screen lock. But if I have your phone - and I’m already gone - does it matter?

Another thing that is probably more annoying than anything else. But why do people take important calls in front of 15 strangers? I don’t think it’s a smart idea to talk about how much you are going to pay as a business to get something done. I don’t think it’s smart to talk about where all your online or bank accounts are - and how you use them. I don’t have any ideas how to exploit that information - but I’m sure there are people out there who could.

I mean normal, non tech savy people don’t know this. But I’m not talking about them here. I’m talking about tech professionals - marketers, designers, even developers. They should know better, or at least care more for their stuff. Who is educating those people? I maybe go overboard with electric tape over camera, laptop locked after 1 minute and always closing the lid just in case. Phone and wallet always in my pocket or locked in hotel. I don’t even use wifi - I use mobile internet as hotspot. I know that I’m screwed either way if someone wants to target me. But there is no point in making it easy? One thing I do know - there has to be a better way to educate people on these things. Or at least provide sensible OS and application defaults. Maybe that’s something we as developers can do something about.