Electronics are highly sought-after and retain an excellent re-sale value when they’re new, making them a prime target for thieves. Laptops especially are prone to theft, but tower computers are often stolen during home break-ins. People looking to protect their property are always searching for a solution, and new software designed to locate stolen computers can help provide security and peace-of-mind to computer owners.
Prey software works in PC, Mac, and even smart phones. The open source software sends a message digitally, either through SMS or email, stating the machine’s location. Once triggered, the device allows the user to remotely activate various actions; for example, if you report your device as stolen, you can use Prey to trigger a loud alarm, lock down the program, or even send messages to the thief. Because the Prey control panel is located online, you can access it from any computer or internet-capable device. Best of all, the open source program is free to download, although extended features are available to paid subscribers.
Hidden is an app available only for Mac. When your Mac is stolen, you can activate the software and receive the computer’s location, collect screenshots of what the computer is doing at the time of the report, and even take a photo of the thief using webcam technology. Like Prey, Hidden functions through an online dashboard, so you can activate the program from any computer that has internet access. Hidden plans do cost, but the price is fairly low, starting at $15/year for a single computer.
3. Locate PC
Available for all versions of Windows, Locate PC provides the ability to locate a stolen computer as well as remotely access it to retrieve files, record screenshots of computer activity, or use a webcam to photograph the thief. Once you report the computer stolen to the customer service team, the software activates and you can access all of the options through the online dashboard. The Locate PC subscription costs $14.95/year and can also be purchased in bulk for business or corporate accounts.
No matter what software you choose to use, installing computer tracking software on your laptop or desktop computer can help you find your stolen machine and report the computer’s location to law enforcement. Even if the computer is not recovered, you are still able to access your files through the online dashboard, and can shut down the machine so thieves can’t retrieve your valuable personal data.