Better tracking of your stolen laptops - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Better tracking of your stolen laptops

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Ken Colburn is president of Data Doctors Computer Services and host of the Data Doctors Radio Program, noon Saturdays on KTAR 92.3 FM or at www.datadoctors.com/radio. Readers may send questions to evtrib@datadoctors.com.

Related Stories

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:19 am

Q: My son’s laptop was stolen from his college dorm during a party and he had the Find My Mac system setup on it, so he was able to track it to an apartment complex nearby. The problem is that the police said that they need more information to go on as they can’t just start knocking on all the apartment doors. What else can we do? — B

A: Find My Mac is a great free option that Apple provides to anyone with an iCloud account, but as you are discovering, just having the location of the device isn’t enough in many cases. The authorities simply can’t respond to every call for a stolen or misplaced device without “probable cause,” especially when it comes to an apartment complex.

You could also try the “I know your location and if you return it, I won’t call the police” approach, but you would still have the problem of trying to coordinate such an exchange with someone that you have somewhat threatened.

If it’s looking like you will never see the laptop again, you can send a remote wipe command via Find My Mac to attempt to erase your personal information the next time it connects to the Internet.

Assuming this should prompt everyone to pro-actively install and more importantly, test out the system that they would use should the unthinkable ever occur.

I have always recommended that parents install the free tracking software from the Prey Project because it has so many other options for gathering information that can help in the recovery of a lost or stolen laptop.

Apple’s Find My Mac system is limited to showing you an approximate location, but Prey adds the ability to take a picture of the person that is using the device (requires the laptop to have a built-in webcam) and a screenshot of whatever they are using on the laptop.

The ability to get a picture and a screen shot of their e-mail account or whatever incriminating information that may be captured by the screen grab will greatly increase the chances that you will get the authorities to act, but it’s still not a guarantee.

The downside to using a free program like Prey is that you must do all of the work of contacting the authorities and convincing them to take action, which can result in nothing but frustration, depending upon your circumstances.

If you want a more comprehensive protection package, that includes help when your laptop is stolen, take a look at Absolute Software’s Lojack for Laptops.

LoJack for Laptops has all of the aforementioned features, but also includes a dedicated theft recovery team made up of former law enforcement, FBI, military and government security experts that will have a much better understanding of what your local law enforcement agency needs to take action.

It’s certainly still not a guarantee that you will get your equipment back, but for $39 a year, it certainly increases the odds while decreasing the grief associated with trying to figure out what to do when it happens.

• Ken Colburn is president of Data Doctors Computer Services and host of the Data Doctors Radio Program, noon Saturdays on KTAR 92.3 FM or at www.datadoctors.com/radio. Send questions to evtrib@datadoctors.com.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Police: Person walks into Phoenix Fire Department after being shot

PHOENIX - Police are investigating after a person walked into the Phoenix Fire Department with a gunshot wound. Police were called to the fire…

Published: September 25, 2016 - 4:46 am @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

The banning of books in prisons: 'It's like living in the dark ages'

Dan Slater’s new non-fiction book Wolf Boys recounts the story of two Mexican-American teens in Texas seduced by the violent cartels across th…

Published: September 25, 2016 - 4:16 am @ https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/sep/25/the-…

Obama's Pen and Phone Have Saddled Taxpayers with 25 Regs that Cost $348.7 BILLION

Obama has wreaked havoc on the economy.   This report highlights 25 regulatory actions that have cost American taxpayers $350 BILLION dollars.…

Published: September 25, 2016 - 4:14 am @ http://minutemennews.com/26411-2/

North Carolina and Maryland challenge gerrymandering

By Sam Weber and Laura Fong The vast majority of votes cast for the United States House of Representatives this fall will be in races where th…

Published: September 25, 2016 - 12:42 am @ http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/north-carolina-mary…

Americans say: TPP who?

With help from Doug Palmer and Megan Cassella AMERICANS SAY: TPP WHO? There could be a sliver of hope for the languishing TPP deal after all, …

Published: September 25, 2016 - 12:12 am @ http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-trade/20…

How Racial Disparity Does Not Help Make Sense of Patterns of Police Violence

I want simply to draw attention to how insistence on reducing discussion of killings of civilians by police to a matter of racism clouds under…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 9:38 pm @ http://portside.org/2016-09-24/how-racial-disparit…

Wanted man in custody after chase, barricade in Phoenix

PHOENIX - Phoenix police say a man with multiple felony warrants is in custody after leading officers on an overnight chase. The suspect repor…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 5:42 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

Neighbors say former Phoenix golf course attracting more and more homeless people

PHOENIX - Neighbors say an abandoned golf course is becoming prime real estate for homeless people in Phoenix. They say the area near 19th Ave…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 5:40 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

Where did the chimichanga, the glorious deep-fried burrito, come from anyway?

Recently, UNESCO designated Tucson as  a “capital of gastronomy,” naturally inspiring articles on the Arizona city’s long food heritage, as we…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 5:38 pm @ http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-fo-chimic…

Bicyclist killed in crash with truck in W. Phoenix

PHOENIX - Phoenix police are investigating a deadly crash involving a truck and a bicycle. Emergency crews arrived at the scene near 35th Aven…

Published: September 24, 2016 - 5:12 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/wes…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…