by Korben, on
Prey – the best app to recover a stolen laptop:
Prey is a software that runs of course under Windows, but also on Mac and Linux, and allows to track your notebook if it gets stolen. The Prey service is started up silently. You can set your computer so that it will connect to any open wireless LAN to send the following information:
- Screen shots of what the thief is up to on your computer
- Pictures of the thief if your computer is equipped with a webcam
- The computer’s position if it is equipped with a GPC device. If not, the info is given via the wireless LAN.
But Prey can also protect your data by hiding it, deleting your passwords, or blocking the session. If you want, you can also launch alarms on your computer, either as a simple screen message or as an actual alarm sound that will start howling.
To make it short: an indispensable tool for all suspicious ones among you. In return, though, two hints:
First advice: You better not set the alarms. The thief could be scared and turn off the computer or destroy it. The alarm may be helpful, if your sure the thief is within reach, like in-house, otherwise forget about it.
Second advice: Once your machine has be localized, call the cops rather than trying to recover your computer yourself. You might get beaten up or even worse. That would be really kamikaze…
Here’s an example with me as the thief (credible, isn’t it?!)! (I intentionally blurred some of the info).
Prey lets you keep track of your phone or laptop at all times, and will help you find it if it ever gets lost or stolen. It's lightweight, open source software, and free for anyone to use.
Basically you install a tiny agent in your PC or phone, which silently waits for a remote signal to wake up and work its magic. This signal is sent either from the Internet or through an SMS message, and allows you to gather information regarding the device's location, hardware and network status, and optionally trigger specific actions on it.
Prey has very few dependencies and doesn't even leave a memory footprint until activated