This blog is my attempt to share information with faculty, introducing new apps, websites, or other snippets of information that may be of use to faculty. I am also using it to keep track of projects I'm working on that might be good to reference in the future.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Safeguarding Laptop - Part 3 (Prey)

One of my projects for Spring Break was to figure out how to cost effectively secure my PC (and then share with other users at school).  After doing some thinking these are the things I wanted to do:
1) Label mobile devices so they can be returned if lost.
2) Backup my system regularly - to include data, passwords, etc.
3) Find a system to track my device/laptop if it gets stolen, or misplaced.
4) Set up a firewall to block incoming and outgoing traffic I don't want (make it more secure)
5) Look into encryption software, or a way to ensure my data doesn't get out if I do have my laptop stolen. Do I use a BIOS password, software, an online password storage/retrieval system.
6) Determine what other security software I may need.

I also wanted to do this for my other mobile devices (phone, tablet) and not just my laptop.

Here is part three.....

Safeguarding Laptop - Part 3
Part three in this series is to find a system that will allow me to track my device if it is ever stolen or lost.  While there are several programs/services that can do this, the one I feel is by far and away the best is Prey (preyproject.com).  

Prey is a program that works on all types of devices (Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux).  Their free version will allow you to track up to three devices on one account.  If you want to track more devices, you will need to upgrade to their pro version.  They have five different plans you can upgrade to.  


When you sign up for their service, you can log into a control panel that will allow you various ways to track your device.  When a device is stolen, you call the police, and then you go onto the Prey control panel and you can have your device report in as soon as it connects to the internet.  It can email you pictures of who is using it, tell you exactly where it is on google maps, and they you turn that info over to the police to reclaim your device.  

It is reported that 97% of stolen laptops are not recovered.  And there are numerous stories of people who have found their devices using Prey (http://preyproject.com/blog/cat/recoveries)

I've install this on my Windows laptop, Andoid Phone and iPad1.  It seems to work great...i will definitely be playing with this more in the near future.  As with any system I'm sure there are ways to get around this, but for the casual non-technie thief it will give you a better chance of retrieving your device.

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