How to Tackle Thieves Preying on Your Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone

Since most of my readers are Indians, there’s no need to dwell upon the risks of theft.

After all, stealing is inherent in the Indian DNA.

Turn your head the other way for just a nanosecond and before you can mumble Chutiya your fellow Besharam Indian will elope with your baby, kidney, virginity, MacBook or Dell laptop, iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy 4!

Nothing is beyond the reach of those grasping, itchy Indian fingers.

That’s the way God made these savages!

Prey Anti-Theft Tool for Laptops, Smartphones & Tablets

Prey for the Rescue

While I can’t help you in recovering your stolen babies, kidneys,  or virginity, you can count on the peerless SI’s assistance (albeit, to a limited degree) in recovering your stolen MacBook or Dell laptop or the iPhone 5s via the free open source Prey software.

Once you install Prey, it runs silently in the background.

You won’t be able to see it. That’s a deliberate move on the part of Prey’s developers because we don’t want to tip off the putzheads who stole your notebook or smartphone that they’re being monitored, right?

If your device is stolen, Prey will take pictures of the thief (if your laptop has a webcam), screenshots and geo-location and send them to you. You can then use the information and retrieve the stolen device yourself or seek the help of the police.

Prey even lets you remotely lock your device so that precious data is beyond the reach of the thieves who made off with your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

If you want to know, Prey works by getting a list of nearby WiFi locations to identify location of the device.

The free version of Prey stores up to 10 reports (screenshot, webcam picture and geolocation) per device for up to three devices in your control panel.

A useful free tool to safeguard your laptop, desktop computer, smartphone and tablet, Prey supports Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Ubuntu, Android and iOS.

There are premium versions of Prey that store 100 reports, support more devices, generate on demand reports and uses level 3 SSL encryption for a monthly fee.

Prey’s competitors include Find My Mac and VigiMac (for tracking stolen Macs), Find My iPhone, Phoenix  for Windows ($29.95), PC Tracker ($14.99) and MyLaptopTracker ($29.95).

But I recommend Prey for its multi-platform, multi-device support and because it’s free!

Where to get Free Prey –

One Response to "How to Tackle Thieves Preying on Your Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone"

  1. boopalanj   October 9, 2013 at 4:45 am

    But how does it work if a hard factory reset is done on those devices / formatted, without connecting to internet etc? Responds:

    1. Everyone connects to the Internet sooner or later.

    2. Since we’re dealing with humans, no system is perfect. Resetting/formatting is one of the weaknesses. But to some extent, you can minimize the weakness.

    Here is an excerpt from the Prey knowledgebase:

    We encourage to add a BIOS password and disable booting from removable devices on PC’s, so that the thief will be forced to boot into the previous installation and thus, not be able to format your hard disk easily.

    If you have a Mac, there’s a firmware password utility on your Mac OS installation DVD. You can find it in in Applications/Utilities on the disc.

    You can also put password on your iPhone/Android smartphone to access the device. Apple’s new iPhone 5s with its fingerprint authentication makes it all the more difficult for the thief to get into the smartphone.

    On the whole, Prey is not a bad tool.

    Also, remember an average thief does not spend her waking moments reading ArsTechnica. So she is not a tech expert.

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