How much time was that? Poof! Gone in 20 seconds. How can you protect your Mac against thieves? The answer is simple. You can’t. If a thief wants your Mac, they can get your Mac. The idea is to slow them down before you have to track them down.
Fortunately, dear Mac users, there’s an app for that.
Lock The Barn Door First
My non-mommy moments require a little me time. That’s when I head for Starbucks, MacBook Air in hand, and hide from relatives.
I catch up on email, text a little, browse a little, and slurp a little of Starbuck’s latest and greatest.
My Mac sits on the table and avail myself of the coffee giant’s Wi-Fi. And, yes, I hop up for a napkin, a stir stick, and an occasional muffin or bagel.
My Mac still adorns the table in my absence. So far, so good, no thieves. If you do the same thing then may be attracted to the PlugSpy app. It’s billed as an instant early warning system for your Mac. It costs less than half of what you’re drinking at Starbucks.
Here’s how it works. Install PlugSpy on your Mac notebook. It activates automatically when your screen is locked (set your screensaver to Require Password).
If your Mac is lifted and separated from its MagSafe adapter, a loud, high volume alert sounds. If a thief tries to enter a password PlugSpy will capture a photo using the Mac’s built-in iSight or FaceTime camera.
Wait! There’s More! And Less! And What’s Missing
PlugSpy will use Boxcar to notify you via your iPhone when someone lifts or tries to enter your MacBook.
Setup is easy. Just four simple steps. It supports Growl (apparently to notify the thief that your Mac has been stolen) notification. PlugSpy uses the Mac’s standard screen lock password.
What’s missing? Anything that makes it worth even half the price of the temporary caffeinated high you get at Starbucks.
Most notebook thefts come in three flavors. A quick theft while you step away from an unattended Mac. You leave your Mac behind. Someone breaks into your home or room or lifts the Mac from a cubicle.
A Growl notification isn’t much help. Does your lock down screensaver come on instantly when you step away from your Mac? Probably not. I like the alert noise idea, but more often than not, the Mac’s sound volume is low if you’re in public. And, how often is your Mac plugged into the MagSafe adapter when you’re not at home or in the office cubicle farm?
Here’s what I want to help me secure my Mac. Proximity locking and face recognition. If I step away from my Mac’s screen it should know that and lock itself, arm the loud volume alert to sound, and play it loud and clear if it can’t recognize my face when I sit back down.
The alarm system must take a photo or movie of the thief and email it to me instantly (and maybe post the photo to the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted List). My dream alert alarm theft prevention system should send out Wi-Fi location status every thirty seconds (I’m surprised how accurate only Wi-Fi locations are), updates which show up on a Google map.
Otherwise, if you love your Mac and you need what’s on it, keep one eye on your Mac, and your other eye on what the first eye is watching.