Laptops are prone to theft by virtue of their most attractive feature - portability. People lug them around and sometimes just set them aside and forget - until that stomach-churning moment when it dawns on you. Easy enough to do, and once it's gone - what then? Well, if your hard disk is encrypted, the bad guys won't have easy access to your data - but in most instances, they just want the hardware to sell it or to use it themselves.
So, where does Prey come in? Well, once installed, if the bad guys connect to the Internet at some point you should be able to:
- erase or hide personal data
- physically locate the laptop on Google maps
- take a web cam photo of the perp (sweet justice)
- take a screenshot of what the perp is doing
Prey is available in free and paid versions, with some more features and flexibility in the paid versions, as you might expect. Prey is available for several popular mobile operating systems including Windows, Mac OS X, Android and iOS - so tablets and smartphones can be protected too. No software is a panacea, but if it's free and easy to set up, then is that not worth a chance to "catch a thief"?
GroovyPost has a walk-through of the installation and setup of Prey on Windows here.