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Software helps to locate a stolen laptop.

Prey is a free software program from preyproject.com. It can be used to gather information that will help law enforcement recover a stolen laptop. It is simple to install and easy to use. “It works in all operating systems and not only is it Open Source but also completely free.” (Prey Project Website)

The program is downloaded from the website. It is recommended that the laptop owner register at the website before installing the software. This is also free. The registration will provide two alpha-numeric codes that will be used in the install and setup of the program. Once configured with the necessary setup information, the program is ready to be activated using the PreyAgent.exe program. After activation, the program will run as a background service checking the Prey Project website to see if it has been listed as missing. When the program is connected to the internet it checks the website and when seeing that the laptop is listed as missing, it will send, to a pre-configured e-mail address, information describing its whereabouts. This information includes the following: status, list of running programs and connections, network and/or wi-fi information, a screenshot of the current OS desktop and a photograph, if the laptop is equipped with a built in webcam. This information can then be given to the local law enforcement so that they may recover the stolen laptop.

The limitations of the program are few, but require mention. The stolen laptop must be connected to the internet, if it isn’t no checking can be done and no information can be sent. Also, if a thief reformats the hard drive or removes the program, no information will be sent.

For ease of use and free of charge, the program is worth a look.

 

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