Device Tracking

Geofencing for Device Protection on Campus

With data from our theft and loss report, we analyze where PCs are most likely to be lost and the common locations for their recovery.

June 27, 2023

Geofencing, often described as an invisible fence, is a technology that uses GPS or RFID technology to create virtual boundaries around a specific location. The real magic happens when these boundaries are crossed, triggering predetermined actions like alerts, notifications, and in the case of Prey, device security actions. While traditionally used in marketing or for tracking wildlife, it's now sneaking its way into educational organizations, turning their campuses into smart, secure digital fortresses.

The importance of geofencing in today's educational landscape cannot be overstated. As educational tools become increasingly digital and 1:1 laptop lending programs become more common, the need to protect students' devices and institutional data is becoming more pressing. Geofencing offers many possibilities, from improving attendance tracking to enhancing campus safety. It's like having a digital watchdog who never sleeps and doesn't need to be fed!

Challenges Faced by IT Managers in Tracking Missing or Stolen Devices

Tracking missing or stolen devices on a busy campus can feel like trying to find a particular piece of hay in a haystack - only if the haystack was spread across acres and the piece of hay kept moving! Here are a few challenges that IT managers face:

  • Location Accuracy: Pinpointing the exact location of a device can be difficult, especially in densely populated areas.
  • Resource Intensive: Tracking devices require considerable time and personnel, resources that could be utilized elsewhere.
  • Fast Response: As the time increases from when the device is lost, the probability of recovery decreases.

Missing laptops on campus are as frequent as those last-minute cramming sessions before finals. This unfortunate trend poses significant problems for students, teachers, and especially IT staff. The loss of a device, especially those without proper security measures, can lead to potential data breaches that can disrupt educational activities and lead to significant financial cost for both individuals and organizations. To prevent this issue, it is essential to use tools like Prey, which offers continuous tracking and theft recovery features that can help locate, retrieve or destroy missing assets.

Prey's Tracking and Geofencing Capabilities

Nowadays, educational institutions are becoming tech-savvy, and that’s fantastic. But with great tech, come great responsibilities, right? This is where the Prey’s always-on Tracking and Geofences come into the picture, ensuring that the devices in use stay safe and manageable. These features provide much-needed visibility and control over remote devices, making them traceable and secure. This not only ensures the safety of devices and the data therein but also enhances operational efficiency, thus making the life of IT managers much simpler (and we all know they can use the break!).

Benefits of Utilizing Prey for Tracking and Geofencing

Prey shines as an all-in-one solution that can provide just the right tools for this job. It's not just about locating devices, but rather about giving IT teams the power to define safe areas for their devices and alerting them when these boundaries are breached. Let's dive into the details:

Proactive Alerts: Prey’s geofencing feature can be set up to send alerts when devices enter or leave the geofences. This will keep the IT team informed about any unexpected movements, helping them maintain a tight rein over the organization's devices.

Operational Efficiency: Prey's global fleet location feature lets you visualize the location of all your devices at the same time on a map. This kind of real-time monitoring helps ensure none of the devices fall off the radar, leading to an efficient supervision of the entire fleet.

Enhanced Security: Prey's screen lock feature is another useful security measure. If a device is suspected to have been compromised or misplaced, it can be blocked remotely, ensuring that unauthorized users can't access the device.

Reduced Costs: Prey's geofencing capability comes as part of their full suite plan, which includes a host of other features like device loan management and custom automation. This allows for the efficient use of resources and, in turn, leads to significant cost savings.

Compliance: Through Prey’s inventory management features, you can assign users, setup loans with return dates, and activate security measures when due dates are overdue. This helps to ensure devices are only used by authorized personnel and within the right context, thus aiding compliance.

Ensuring Device Security and Accountability in Educational Institutions

In today's interconnected world, educational institutions have increasingly come to rely on a diverse array of devices to support and enhance their instructional activities. From laptops and tablets used by students and teachers to specialized lab equipment, each device serves as an important cog in the machinery of modern education.

This technological evolution, while certainly advantageous, also presents a significant challenge: how can schools ensure the security and accountability of these devices? The answer to this challenge may well be found in a powerful and versatile tool like Prey.

Here’s how you can further the device security and accountability in educational institutions using Prey:

  • Inventory management: Easily manage loans, assign users, and set up alerts when loans are overdue. View detailed device information including IMEI, serial number, network details, and hardware specifications.
  • Always-on device tracking for fleets of any size: With Prey, you can continuously track your devices regardless of your fleet size. It's like having your own persistent GPS for every device! Whether you're managing a handful or hundreds of devices, Prey ensures none of them slip through the cracks.
  • Geolocation and Geofencing features for device monitoring: Prey's geolocation feature allows you to keep tabs on your devices at all times, ensuring they're where they should be.
  • Detecting and reporting unusual device behaviors through Geofencing: Prey alerts you when a device behaves unusually, like moving out of its designated area. It's like your devices have an in-built conscience that can't help but spill the beans!
  • Recovering lost or stolen devices: It is an unfortunate fact that devices can and do go missing in educational settings. Whether it's due to simple misplacement or more nefarious activity, these losses can disrupt educational activities and lead to significant financial costs. However, with Prey's powerful always-on tracking and theft recovery features, institutions can have a fighting chance to locate and retrieve their missing assets.
  • Screen lock and remote alarm features for immediate action: If a device is suspected to be compromised, Prey can lock its screen faster than a startled cat can hide under the bed. Plus, a 30-second alarm that can’t be silenced, giving "find my phone" a whole new decibel level.
  • Communication capabilities for device retrieval: Prey allows you to send messages to devices, turning them into tiny digital mail carriers. Now, if only it could make them fetch coffee...
  • Remote wipe and factory reset options for data protection: Prey's remote wipe and factory reset options are the technological equivalent of a top-secret document shredder. This feature can be a lifesaver in scenarios like protecting sensitive student data, assisting with year-end device collection, and more.

Scheduled Automation for Efficient Device Management

Scheduled automation is a game-changer for educational organizations, allowing IT managers to schedule Prey actions based on specific events on devices. Actions like screen lock, alert messages, remote alarm, and even marking a device as missing mode, can all be set to execute at specific days, hours, and date ranges. It's like having your very own digital assistant, ensuring that your device management is as efficient as a finely tuned orchestra.

This kind of automation doesn't just make device management more efficient, it also makes it more cost-effective. Instead of requiring constant human oversight, these automated tasks work in the background like diligent worker bees, freeing up human resources for more pressing matters. In other words, scheduled automation can reduce costs by taking care of the routine, allowing your IT team to focus on other more important tasks.

Automating Prey Actions Based on Specific Events: Automating Prey actions based on specific events is like setting up a digital booby trap. For instance, if a device's hardware change or if they wanders off of a geofence Prey can trigger an automatic response. This could be anything from sending an alert message to locking the screen, which can be enough to deter a student or to notify the staff about the tampering.

How to set automatic actions with Prey

Available actions and events for triggering automated responses: Prey provides a range of actions that can be automatically triggered in response to various events. For instance, you can send an alert message, ring a remote alarm, lock the screen, or mark a device as missing.

Setting automated actions with Prey

The Events Triggering these Actions can Include:

  • Hardware changes: Let Prey be your digital detective, spotting when your device has had an unauthorized makeover.
  • Stop Charging: Like an over-caffeinated barista, Prey jumps into action the second your device unplugs.
  • Start Charging: Prey keeps an eagle eye on devices being plugged back in.
  • Exact time: Set an action for a specific date and execution time. Punctual as a Swiss train conductor!
  • Repeat time: Schedule actions for specific days and hours, either recurrently or within a certain date range. It's like your device has a recurring dentist appointment!
  • Low battery: Prey acts as soon as the device’s battery power level drops, kind of like a worried mom making sure her kid's phone is always charged.

Parting words: Achieve an A+ in Device Protection with Prey

Looking towards the future, envision a classroom where device management and security are no longer arduous tasks but an integrated, automated process. The continuous advancements in geofencing and device management technology promise a future where real-time alerts and controls become the norm. And let's not forget the potential savings from preventing loss and misuse. Prey not only ensures constant surveillance over your school's device fleet but also provides a simplified and streamlined management process.

It is therefore recommended to fully embrace the potential of geofencing and Prey in enhancing device protection in educational settings. The opportunities for improved management and security are vast, paralleled only by the extensive digital cloud within which these systems operate. So, consider adopting Prey and integrating geofencing into your educational institution's device management strategy - a decision that could provide significant benefits for your device fleet, your budget, and the overall security of your institution.

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