No one likes it when their device is stolen or missing. Imagine you are in a coffee shop and you leave it for a second to get a cup of coffee, and when you come back, the device is gone. Though there is software like LoJack for Laptops, the annual cost to keep it monitored is expensive. That is where Prey comes in.
Prey Project lets you keep track of your device whenever it is stolen or missing. The service installs a small lightweight program on your device that connects to Prey’s server or your own server (if you want to) will help you track down who has your device. Some of the features that Prey has is that
- 100% geolocation aware (the program uses the device’s GPS or nearby Wi-Fi to triangulate the location of the device)
- Auto-connects to the nearest open Wi-Fi hotspot when no internet connection is found
- Takes a screenshot of the suspect and the desktop so you know who it is and what they are doing
- Hides and locks your personal email data and passwords
- Scans the hardware to know if any modifications have been done
- Lock down the PC and make it unusable till a specific password is entered
Prey can be installed on Windows/Mac/Ubuntu devices/Linux computers and laptops and Android and iOS mobile devices.
While Prey uses an Amazon S3 service to store the logs of data when the device is stolen, you can use the program in the “Standalone mode” and not use Prey servers to store the data (instructions are available on Prey’s site).
When you lost your device, you have to immediately tell Prey so that you start getting the reports by marking your device as missing in the Control Panel, sending the activation SMS (if it’s a phone) or by deleting the generated URL by hand (when using standalone mode).
Unlike other device monitoring service is that Prey is open source (you can get the source code from their website) and that they have a free option and a paid option that includes additional features like active mode (so you can keep track of it at all time), more and quicker reports, SSL encryption and can get data on it when demanded.
One thing to note that prevention is the key, you will need the program on the device before an emergency happens.