It takes a lot to make us say ‘wow’ but this month we’ve said it twice: first to the Kindle 3 (our new favourite bike touring gadget) and now to a free piece of software that helps you track down a thief, if the worst happens on a bike tour.
The idea is this:
1) Download Prey and install it on your laptop or smartphone. During this process, you register your email address and a password with the Prey website.
2) Once registered, the Prey software ‘sleeps’ on your machine. It’s not findable through a search. It doesn’t appear on your control panel or list of programs. As soon as your laptop or phone is stolen, however, you can make Prey pop to life by registering your device as ‘missing’ through the Prey website.
3) As soon as your computer or Android phone is registered as missing, you just have to wait until it connects to the internet. When the computer is online, it can send you a report. You can select what you want to receive. Would you like a screenshot? Maybe you’ll catch the thief on Facebook or Skype and find out his username. You can also take a picture of the thief with your webcam or use geo-location services to figure out exactly where the machine is.
Hopefully you’d never have to use this software, but if you are the victim of theft, this could help you get your stuff back. And if you’ve lost more than your computer, finding out where your laptop is could lead to the rest of your things. Think of it as a bit of free insurance for your next bike tour. Neat!