Macs and PCs get stolen or lost all the time. Recovering a cherished Mac when it disappears doesn’t happen. The latest news came from Palo Alto, CA where Steve Jobs’ home was burglarized, ripped off of Macs, iPad, money and jewelry. And, the burglar defiled a Silicon Valley shrine.
To add a nice touch to the saga, it looks as if the burglar has been caught and all the goods returned.
Jobs family and authorities are not divulging their secret to tracking down Jobs’ Mac and iPad, but with the right app running in the background of any Mac, finding and tracking a lost or stolen Mac can be much easier.
Tops of my list of recovery apps for the Mac is Undercover. This gem of an app has been around for a few years and just gets better. How it works is true Apple. Set it and forget it.
Install Undercover on your Mac. Once registered, you’ll get an Undercover online account. While you’re using your Mac it constantly transmits the Mac’s location to the Undercover account. If your Mac is lost or stolen, simply login to the Undercover account, and mark your Mac as stolen.
When the stolen or lost (and presumably found but not returned) Mac goes online the next time, Undercover secretly transmits information back to your Undercover account.
Undercover then snaps photos, screenshots, key logs, and location information which is sent back to your account so you and authorities can track your Mac’s location.
That’s not all. Undercover does more. In what is called Plan B, Undercover will cause your Mac to simulate a hardware failure. The thief will either try to get the Mac repaired or try to sell it, and Undercover can alert a repairman that the Mac has been stolen.
Assuming the thief is apprehended by local authorities, or whoever found your Mac is persuaded to return it, simply login to your Undercover account and report your Mac as recovered. All becomes normal again.
Undercover works in the background so it’s unlikely to be spotted and closed down by most thieves. All it needs is an internet connection to begin sending location information back to the Undercover account.
While we don’t know exactly how authorities tracked down Steve Jobs’ stolen Mac and iPad, an app like Undercover would make recovery much easier.