Sunday, September 24, 2023

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Geek Chic

Protect gadgets from loss or theft


The 2012 holiday shopping period meant huge sales for gadgets and technology — phones, tablets, computers — individually costing hundreds of dollars and equating to huge investments for the gift-giver and recipient. Be sure to protect those investments by mitigating the risk of losing them to theft or accident.                

There’s no doubt that a lot of people received Apple devices, whether they be iPhones, iPads or even Macs. Apple is aware of the investment that goes into its products and provides a free service to locate them if lost or stolen. The Find My iPhone app for iOS must be installed and run at least once to have permission to access the device’s location, but after that, it can be managed from the iCloud website. Macs can be configured with iCloud, and even PCs with Windows can get the iCloud application. Computers can be a little more difficult to find, but even a vague area is better than nothing.                

Where’s My Droid for Android offers similar features for free. For those multi-platform users, there’s Prey. Prey offers tracking software for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. Plus, it’s free, at least for one device and non-commercial use. Licensing for multiple personal devices or even bulk commercial devices is available, and it provides a centralized portal to monitor and locate all your devices. Prey can also access a computer’s webcam to take pictures of a thief to provide evidence to police.               

It’s all a good start, but ultimately nothing can get your device back if a thief wipes it and removes any tracking software from it. Of course, never put yourself in danger to recover stolen goods. There have been many stories about device owners tracking down thieves and trying to get their stuff back. It probably won’t work, especially if you don’t have the law on your side yet. CV

Robert Anhalt is Director of Content at Geek Speak Forum and contributes to Cityview.

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