Prey 0.5.10

Prey lets you keep track of your laptop, phone and tablet whenever stolen or missing -- easily and all in one place. It's lightweight, open source software that gives you full and remote control, 24/7.

How it works:
Basically you install a tiny agent in your PC or phone, which silently waits for a remote signal to wake up and work its magic. This signal is sent either from the Internet or through an SMS message, and allows you to gather information regarding the device's location, hardware and network status, and optionally trigger specific actions on it.

Download: Prey 0.5.10 | 5.5 MB (Open Source)
View: Prey Website

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5 Comments

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And what if the thief formats the computer?
That's a different story. We encourage you to add a BIOS password and disable booting from removable devices on your PC, so that the thief will be forced to boot into the previous installation and thus, not be able to format your hard disk easily. If you have a Mac, there's a firmware password utility on your Tiger/Leopard Mac OS installation DVD (look for it in in Applications/Utilities). On OSX Lion you'll find the utility by booting from the recovery partition.

http://preyproject.com/faq

Copernic said,
And what if the thief formats the computer?
That's a different story. We encourage you to add a BIOS password and disable booting from removable devices on your PC, so that the thief will be forced to boot into the previous installation and thus, not be able to format your hard disk easily. If you have a Mac, there's a firmware password utility on your Tiger/Leopard Mac OS installation DVD (look for it in in Applications/Utilities). On OSX Lion you'll find the utility by booting from the recovery partition.

http://preyproject.com/faq


If a thief knows how to reinstall an OS, he's often already quite technical and I suppose the thief can then easily avoid a BIOS password as well.
You cannot prevent a thief from using your system. What you can do is make your files and info invisible or useless to the thief. Bitlocker for example.

Let's see you try that on basically "all" modern systems. Hell my "old" (2010) Thinkpad would stop you dead in your tracks (even the HDD password too).

That hasn't worked for the longest now when it comes to resetting passwords, for Thinkpads if you forget it not even Lenovo will help you. It's just gone forever and you have to replace the motherboard.