Mobile Security, Part 1 – Laptop, Mini Computer and Mobile Device Tracking

Recently, I’ve emailed clients information about Prey Project, an open source service allowing you to track and aid in the recovery of your laptop or mobile Android phone. There are two main components to Prey – 1) the automatic notification about your devices being off-line, change in hardware configuration and  basic device usage; 2) the ability to track lost or stolen devices and prevent access to the information on them.

There are two types of accounts, a free three device account with limited reporting functions and an annual subscription account for tracking from 3 to 500 devices. Just pick the plan that works for you and you get full feature reporting, device wakeup and hardware tracking and of course the recovery, tracking and disabling feature. The free account is really for
home users whose concern is recovery and tracking. The paid subscription includes all the features used for IT tracking and reporting.  We have had a number of clients use the paid subscription. One feature they really like is the automatic notification of when the devices go off line for a week or more, when they are back online and if users try installing additional hardware devices.

Not only should you track your organization’s laptops and mobile devices, you should also include any satellite equipment, or small compact computer like the Mac Mini, remote workstations you own or offer to staff and field office equipment, especially any overseas.

Here is how prey works – for normal operations you simply install prey software on each device. For annual subscription accounts, you can configure the regular reporting for any equipment that has been off-line for a period of time and when it returns to working status as well as any experience hardware changes.

Once you have an issue with a device, either lost or stolen, you can activate the camera to take a picture of the thief, use gps tracking to find the laptop or phone and use the security features to disable access to any data on the hard drive or flash memory. Of course none of this works until the device is online so any device lost and never found by someone will never have
these security features turned on until it is found and operational. The peace of mind knowing you will be notified and have the ability to prevent access or to locate the device are worth the annual fee. The recovery of one laptop would more than pays for the annual fee. They offer a 10% discount if you pay annually instead of monthly.

If you would like to find out more about this nifty tool, check out the website at or contact us for more information.

Next up, common sense advice and basic practices….


About SCB Enterprises
System Solutions and Integration

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