So, I have two computers and I use my smart phone's internet on those computers. Yahoo during a brief period actually locked me out of my account because "try logging in on a device i normally log in on", and I constantly get security alerts from google for logging into my gmail on my smart phone. For example, today I downloaded mozilla because of a I encountered when trying to download something off google drive, and then when I downloaded the file off mozilla my phone sent me another security alert.

So this begs the question: what data is analyzed by these corporate robots to determine what is "a new device"? Is there a simple command that will show all this information in windows?


The true answer is only going to be known by Google and Yahoo!, respectively, but we can guess.

In order to determine if you've logged in from a device before, the service provider would either need to store a unique identifier on a device, or do some sort of fingerprinting. As far as storing a unique identifier goes, the simplest way to do this would be to write a cookie using the browser. If they are doing some sort of finger printing, there are a couple of datapoints they could use:

  • IP Address
  • Browser's User Agent String
  • Other types of browser fingerprints (too many to list.)

Browser fingerprinting is a vast subject, and there are too many possible options to list here, and it's likely that they use a combination of them to determine a unique fingerprint. As far tools go, I am not aware of any simple commands which can give you all of the possible options. It would be a matter of examining the HTTP Requests, and seeing what information is sent to the server.

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  • does the internet know your "computer name"? I thought they might use that – thinksinbinary Nov 20 '17 at 20:13

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