Security & Theft Protection

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by plunar, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. plunar macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2003
    Given the loss of my wife's laptop this week, and the fact I just ordered a black macbook replacement due to arrive in a couple days, I am responding to this theft in the manner any person would: irrational paranoia.

    I've developed a 3 point plan of sorts: 1. a security cable. is kensington the best for this? i would think the combination is better than the key, should the key ever be lost.

    2. software: i've heard all sorts of stories about people that have scripts that tell their macbook to take an isight photo or send an sos signal whenever it gets net access. what's the best package for this? Or, anyway to make the system go into total lockdown?

    3. hardware (most important): I want to install a GPS tracker in the new laptop. ideas?
  2. plunar thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2003
    Damn now THAT is what I'm talking about!

    Ordering now, just in time for my wife's trip to ft lauderdale next week
  3. apb3 macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2006
    PTSD therapy
    Yeah. This is pretty much it as far as I've seen for security/recovery. I got it for all our computers - even the desktops as they could be stolen as well...

    GPS tracking is an area where I have not found anything to compare to the integrated (for the most part) solutions in the military and for companies/governments tracking larger items like vehicles, shipping cantainers, etc...

    There are devices like this ( ) that can be placed with the laptop in it's bag/case and in that way, while not ideal, can offer some level of tracking. Couple it with their "virtual fence" and it has a little more value I guess. It is neither integrated enough nor does it offer enough security bang for the buck for it to be worth it for me. But, obviously, you might feel differently.

    On the other hand, Orbicule is more than worth it to me. While it relies on the laptop being connected to get a location and, as such, cannot provide real-time, independent location fixes like a GPS tracker could; I still feel satisfied with it.
  4. plunar thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2003
    how about computrace lojack? any consensus on it stacks up to orbicle? i know it doesn't have the isight gimmick, but what really matters is the chance that the machine can be found and returned.
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Having had my last laptop stolen, I am considering something like orbicule. It looks a better deal as it appears to do the same things (or more) as lojack without the annual fee.
  6. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Wow thanks for the link!

    With 3 girls using laptops it's only a matter of time before one turns up

    I have another friend who travels alot with his new MBP.

    Definitely passing this on!
  7. plunar thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2003
    well i think i'm going with lojack. orbicle looks cooler, but i'm banking that lojack has more established connections with the police. i almost bought orbicle, but when i realized their online "store" was the shareware dealer Kagi, well i decided to rethink.

    i also like lojack's ability to wipe the hard drive clean.

    this isn't insurance for me - i can get a new laptop through other insurance and have fairly recent back ups. but when a little ****er has the god damn audacity to take my ****, well that's something i don't take too kindly to. this is more about punishing the next piece of trash that steals my **** than me getting it back.
  8. timswim78 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2006
    Baltimore, MD
    It seems like the software is useless if the thief does a clean install of OS X. Is that the case?
  9. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    Which is precisely why I set a firmware password. He'd need to enter it before being able to boot off of the OS X installation disc.
  10. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    If he has his hands on an OSX installation disc he probably knows a good deal about Macs. Criminals are brainy folk, it is not hard to remove the battery, remove the memory sticks, replace them, and give your laptop + contents + undercover the finger.
  11. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    You put too much faith in the common notebook theif. Sure there are some brainy masterminds out there, but the typical thief is not that bright.
  12. grafikat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2003

    At first I was enamored by the sexiness of Undercover by playing sleuth if my MB got stolen. Then I began to think a little more....

    If you have your computer password protected, the thief will never GET to log in. No pictures, no way to trace.

    If your laptop is stolen by non computer saavy thief, the first stop is the pawnshop. It might not get onto the internet for weeks, months.

    New person getting computer will probably erase the hard drive if they can't break the password. My bet is that if someone is buying from a pawnshop and realize it's stolen, they won't be overly shocked!

    But, what happens if someone parts it out? Guess you're SOL!

    I also am not overly wild about my computer calling to a third party just to "report in". I don't always look my best when on my computer. How do I know this outfit is hack proof? Could someone randomly spy on me??

    Just some thoughts....
  13. fa.ce macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2006
    Same thoughts here, but:
    1) you can enabled firmware password so that nobody can format your hard disk
    2) i'm not sure about report in, orbicule should trace your mac ONLY when you communicate to them your serial key, isn't it ?
    anybody on this point ?
  14. DENZIE macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2007
    Laptop hdd's are pretty dam cheap nowadays, whats stopping them from opening up a MBP and sticking a new one in? + tiger off torrent if they don't have the dvd already..

    If you have bootcamp, does the firmware password protect you from holding down the alt key at boot to get into windows? I think its only on target disk mode and network boot.
  15. Roba macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2006
    Honestly i think that the best bet is a good insurance cover for accidental damage inside and outside the home and also for theft inside and outside the home. I have this and i am covered to take my laptop anywhere in the world and if it is stolen i will get a brand new one.
  16. Andrew D. macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    Wow, that's amazing.. thanks for the link! I'll be sure to use this once I finally get my MacBook. Living in a "big city" I'm not sure what might go on. Thanks!

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