In today’s world system admins can’t be too careful about where their equipment ends up, I’ve seen many Admins get panicked when a laptop goes missing, especially when the company doesn’t have a decent check-in and check-out system for their equipment. Though there isn’t any fool proof way to find a stolen laptop, I’ve recently come across an awesome site to help you track a stolen laptop.
Cool Site: The Prey Project
It is one of the cooler websites that I have come across. You download the program and install it on your laptop, once installed you have two different ways to use the program. In a control panel mode or in a stand alone, each mode runs in the background of your laptop. In the control panel mode, you set up an account with Prey and the program will check with the prey site to see if you have listed the laptop as stolen. If it’s not, it does nothing. If it is listed as stolen, you can then send commands and get reports from the laptop, like what programs are running, if it has a web cam pictures from it, what sites it visited and screen shots.. The laptop if not connected to the internet will auto-connect to the first wi-fi it can find to check or send reports.
If you install the program in stand-alone mode, you need to provide a website address for the prey program to check. If you delete the page that its looking for and the website returns a 404 (page not found error), the laptop knows it’s missing and starts to send the preconfigure reports to an e-mail address specified, so you know about the status of the laptop.
NOTE: Please do not approach any individual who may have a stolen laptop, please turn the information over to the police and let them handle it. It could be dangerous to try to recover the laptop on your own.
Now this wont guarantee the recovery of your laptop, but it gives you more information that you would of had previously. In a company a 1% chance of recovering a laptop is better than none, and at least it’s a chance. Best part is that you activate the program, and it will run undetected so no one will know…and it runs silently and doesn’t effect your processes much, so it doesn’t impact the use of the laptop.