Four out of every five Macs are notebooks. Notebooks have legs. They’re mobile. They go where you go. Unfortunately, that mobility also means a notebooks with legs can end up lost or stolen. What can you do?
Enter Orbicule’s famous Undercover app for your Mac/. This cleverly designed utility resides in the background while your Mac runs, but connects to the internet to let you know where your Mac has gone.
‘I’m Here! I’m Here!’
Imagine how you would feel when you return to the office or hotel room or classroom and your Mac is missing? Photos? Movies? Files and Documents? All gone. Somewhere. Whether lost or stolen a missing Mac is not fun for anyone except thieves and Undercover is bad news for thieves.
According to a recent FBI report, 97% of all stolen computers are never recovered. Many people we know have had their Macs stolen, often in ‘safe’ situations. That’s why we developed Undercover: a unique theft-recovery application designed from the ground up for macOS.
Part of what we do at Mac360 is to highlight Mac apps and utilities that we use ourselves or recommend to family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers– knowing there’s a bit of support and reputation at stake. That’s why I use Undercover.
There isn’t much to show you about Undercover because most of what it does is hidden in the background, waiting for someone to abscond with your prized Apple computer, and what it does is almost simple.
Undercover transmits location information from the stolen Mac. This information includes the coordinates from wireless location tracking, and the internal and external IP addresses, enabling the police to accurately trace the Mac’s physical location, in collaboration with the Internet Service Provider.
Undercover doesn’t require an email account to notify you of its location. Instead, it connect directly to Orbicule’s monitoring center. When you lose your Mac or find it has been stolen, simply log into the center and the track process begins. Undercover installs in a secure manner and cannot be removed by a thief because the administrator password is required.
What if someone steals your Mac and tries to wipe it clean? No. Can. Do. Just use the Mac’s hardware firmware system.
If you value your Mac, your Mac’s files, and you’re afraid you may lose your Mac or it may be stolen, Undercover is a very good option, and very useful if you work in a crowded environment or travel often.
Caveats? Just two.
First, are a number of steps to go through to make Undercover work, but you can track the location through the Orbicule monitor website. That tells you if everything is working OK. For example, you’ll need to ensure Undercover has access to Location Services. The settings, though, are straightforward but not minimalist.
Second, Undercover does not work with FileVault 2 on a Mac.
Otherwise, Undercover hides in the background and collects photos, screenshots, keystrokes are logged, and network and location information is gathered and shared with the system monitor. There’s a nifty hardware failure mode that I like.
In the hardware failure mode, Undercover will simulate a Mac backlight failure. This should urge the thief to take the Mac to a repair center, or to sell it. This will display a full screen message on your Mac, stating that your Mac has been stolen and that it should be returned to the rightful owner. The full screen mode can also be enabled without first enabling the hardware failure mode.
See? Much to like here.
Undercover isn’t a cheap way to track your Mac but it isn’t easy for thieves to circumvent and it is inexpensive considering the price of your Mac and all your files.