No, it’s not when one of her kids climbs up the curtains and won’t come down.
It’s not when the middle kid washes the cat with Moist Towelettes and then tries to dry it using mommy’s hair dryer (now the cat disappears for two days every time I wash my hair). No, true fear is when you walk into the living room to check email and the MacBook isn’t where it’s supposed to be. Not fun.
Track Mac, Bring It Back, Jack!
My scenario is all too common. I walked into the living room from the kitchen and the Mac was gone. The front door was open. Two of the kids were crying. One was missing.
Do you have any idea what kind of thoughts go through a parent’s mind when viewing that scene? Not fun.
“Someone kidnapped my Mac“, I thought. Then, when I did a body count on my kids, I thought, “Someone kidnapped my Mac and my daughter.”
I grabbed the two young ones (obviously not as valuable to kidnappers as the older one because she can do chores and stays put when she’s told to) and locked them in their room.
Then I headed out the front door, trying hard to breath through the growing panic. When I was two thirds of the way from dialing 9-1-1, I spotted the oldest girl sitting on the porch, watching something on the MacBook on her lap.
What a relief that was. Obviously, the kidnapper had taken my daughter and the MacBook, and discovered that she simply won’t shut up when a stranger is near, requires expensive snacks, won’t watch basic cable, and brought them both back, safe and sound to the front porch. Or, something like that.
That got me to thinking. Since I can’t put an alert or monitor on the kids, maybe I should install some kind of tracking device on the Mac. That way, if they’re every taken together, at least I could track the Mac.
For Mac users, the app that tracks the best is probably Undercover. It’s been around for years, hides in the background on OS X, and gives you tools to trace your Mac to within 30 feet.
Think of Undercover as a theft-recovery app. When connected to the internet, Undercover uses Wi-Fi positioning to place your Mac’s location, then transmits that information to a recovery center. You can test the tracking capability right on your Mac (works similar to Find My iPhone).
Undercover doesn’t rest with a mere location. It also captures screenshots so you can see what the thief is doing on your Mac, and captures photos and sends those so the thief can be identified.
Pretty cool, huh? Wait. There’s more! Plan B.
What if the thief is smart and not stupid and doesn’t connect your Mac to a network right away? No problemo, amigo. Undercover flashes a full screen message which alerts either thief, reseller, or buyer that this Mac has been stolen, is broken and has to be repaired.
And then it gets noisy and shouts out a message that you create. A legitimate Mac tech trying to figure out what’s wrong may notice the message and contact authorities (and the Undercover recovery center).
Undercover is a behind-the-scenes 64-bit app which simply waits until your Mac is stolen. The price tag covers everything (including a household of five Macs), and the recover center actions.
There are plenty of other geeky ways to protect your Mac’s data from prying eyes, hackers, and thieves. Undercover gives you the peace of mind you deserve, but won’t track the whereabouts of your kids.