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?

1 Answer 1


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.

  • does the internet know your "computer name"? I thought they might use that Nov 20, 2017 at 20:13

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