GPS tracking software Prey paved way for the retrieval of a student’s stolen laptop in Bristol UK. Emma Partington activated the tracking software after realizing her laptop was missing in her student-shared home in the Cotham area.
She had previously downloaded the software for free. After arriving home late at night, she discovered that her laptop was stolen and immediately went to her friend’s place to turn on the tracking function of the software.
“I had received an email from the company…” Partington revealed the next morning. The software gave her the GPS location of her missing laptop. It also presented the Wi-Fi address to which the laptop was connected, providing the list of sites that had been visited. The software also took a picture of the man using the stolen laptop.
Partington then contacted the police. She provided all the information obtained from the software. The authorities then printed all the necessary evidence. The police went to the location provided by the software and the suspected burglar was arrested. The photograph of the man made it easier to identify the suspected thief.
Detective Inspector Gavin McClory praised the software. He identified it as an effective and highly helpful tool against computer or smart phone robbery. He encourages people to use available online downloadable software that would help in similar situations.
Prey is a free, open source application. When an internet connection is available the application links to a central server. The owner of the portable device or electronic gadget has the option to identify the status of the registered devices. Once logged as missing, the application compiles reports about the location of the device among others and sends it to a particular email address set by the owner or to a registered server connected with the user.
The functions of the application are controlled and activated by the registered user depending on necessity. Features of this tracking system software include remote messaging, screen locking, alarm system, screenshot grabbing, webcam capturing if applicable to the device, and Wi-Fi auto-connect. A user can also register as many as 100 computers in the software.
The software was released in 2009. It was launched for Mac and Linux in March and April for Microsoft Windows.