Just bought MBP - anti-theft app recommendations?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mark2741, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. mark2741 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2011
    #1
    Just bought my first Macbook Pro (the 13" one) yesterday. Been drooling over a Mac laptop for years but was always hesitant due to cost. Picked up the $999 MBP 13" i5 one yesterday. Loving it so far.

    Wanted to know - what are the options/recommendations for 'Lojack' type anti-theft apps? I have looked at "Hidden" and "Undercover". I'm leaning towards "Hidden".

    Ideally would love a free app but willing to pay.
     
  2. Blaine macrumors 6502a

    Blaine

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    #2
    I love undercover!! I've never heard of hidden, so I'll check its website out.
     
  3. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #3
    i think those kinds of apps are gimmicks and the gotcha "news" items seem a lot like publicity stunts to me. the best protection seems to be keeping the computer with you. in my case, someone would have to steal the backpackoff my back, the computer off the table in front of me,or break into my home for it. i have insurance (your renter's insurance or homeowner policy ought to offer this) and all of my data is regularly backed up on cloud and time machine. i've never had a gadget stolen before, and i think that is in part because i don't wander off leaving it sitting out for opportunistic thieves to take. so many people suddenly get careless in libraries and coffee shops.
     
  4. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030

    AppleFanatic10

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    #4
    I have Hidden... I think that one is the best because if someone steals it, the MacBook will take a picture of the theif and show you the websites that that person has been on. It will also help the process go faster when you are trying to get your macbook back.
     
  5. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    it might take a picture of someone, assuming the thief doesn't just put a piece of tape over it, turnoff airport, and / or wipe the drive before selling it. i don't see how it will speed up the process of getting it back unless the policeman somehow recognizes the individual.
     
  6. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030

    AppleFanatic10

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    #6
    Read This
     
  7. wpotere Guest

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    #7
    Yep, and with it now being all over the web, the crooks are more likely to simply wipe it rather than use it.
     
  8. udontno macrumors regular

    udontno

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    #8
    It says on the webpage that they caught the guy!
     
  9. wpotere Guest

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    #9

    Yes, I know... :rolleyes: My point is that now everyone knows about the software so a crook will be more likely to simply wipe the machine before they use it. No software, no spying on a crook and bye bye laptop.
     
  10. udontno macrumors regular

    udontno

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    #10
    I don't know... there are some idiot thieves out there!
     
  11. benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

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    #11
    I have something called Prey, luckily I haven't had to use it so far.
     
  12. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #12
    apparently i was wrong. neither of the two recent stories was a hoax.

    although, they both required social media, and in one case national media intervention to regain the laptop. as i said above, it also requires a stupid thief.

    it could happen, but what are the odds i wonder. your money would be far better spent on insurance (probably will cost less) for a guaranteed replacement.

    and, an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure. just don't leave it out for thieves to take.
     
  13. benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

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    #13
    Prey is free.
     
  14. jpl6 macrumors member

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    I was deciding between Undercover & Hidden - ended up getting Undercover. Both seem to be pretty good apps though. For a Mac that's probably worth $1000+ (along with time & effort you put into it with installed programs, files, etc.) I think it's a worthy investment.

    Unfortunately none of them would be as secure as my old HP laptop where I got the option with an installed LoJack hardware chip which would prevent OS installs/BIOS flashes from getting rid of the anti-theft software. But, satisfaction from using Mac is greater, heh.
     
  15. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a

    Quad5Ny

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    #15
    CompuTrace? Stay away from that **** it overwrites system files at boot time and after the OS is loaded. It can also serve as a back door to hackers.
     
  16. mark2741 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Thanks everyone. I will give Prey a try but am considering going with Hidden.

    BUT...as one of the replyers astutely said - if I were to steal a laptop I would be smart enough to wipe the drive right away before using it. But I'm guessing at least 75% of thieves aren't that knowledgeable, particularly on Macs. A look at craigslist reveals a number of likely stolen laptops for sale, so there's probably a decent chance I'd wind up, at best, nabbing the unknowing buyer of the macbook instead of the actual culprit.

    I work often long stretches at coffee shops/cafes like Starbucks. A man's gotta pee sometimes : ) With my typical work laptop (an HP Elitebook that is very nice as far as Windows laptops go) I just leave it on my table/seat for a minute while I do my business. Been doing that for a couple of years now. But with the cost of this MBP (out of my own pocket), I'm a little more leery. I am going to look into a physical antitheft device of some sort instead.

    AHHHH....just thought of something - is there an app that will leverage the movement sensors in the laptop so that, when I gotta leave it for a few minutes, I can just press a button and then if the laptop gets moved you have 10 seconds to hit a certain key combo or the alarm goes off? Hmmmm...if that doesn't exist it might be my first crack at developing a Mac app : )
     
  17. mark2741 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17

    Bingo. Looks like something like this is much better for protecting my MBP for me, based on the only time it being 'exposed' to a possible thief is when I leave it for a minute to go to the bathroom:
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/ialertu/
     
  18. benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

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    #18
    Prey seems good for me. I'll look at Hidden but not sure if I really need to change.

    Honestly the physical lock is probably the best way to keep your Mac from being taken.
     
  19. jsgreen macrumors 6502

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    Nov 27, 2007
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    NH
    #19
    You can set an EFI firmware password to prevent a thief from wiping the drive - requires a password to be entered when reinstalling the OS.

    That, when combined with Prey, should offer a decent chance of getting some information back from your machine in case it is lost or stolen.

    More info on setting a firmware password:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1352
     
  20. maril1111 macrumors 68000

    maril1111

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    #20
    Prey,undercover or hidden you can't go wrong with either however I would recommend just buying a physical lock e.g. from Kensington as they are safer. Or just get both a physical lock and The app
     
  21. Goldinboy17 macrumors 65816

    Goldinboy17

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    San Francisco, Ca
    #21
    Anyone have a solid recommendation for Windows users? Just bought a new laptop and finished upgrading it with SSD and all. Would totally suck to get it stolen. Again - I'd be willing to pay. Just would like some reassurance that It could possibly be recovered if stolen.
     

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