From Centurions walking along parapets and standing guard in towers to Ring video doorbells keeping surveillance of front doors or mailboxes, humans have long had an interest in protecting what is ours. Our electronics are no exception. These possessions are now some of our most valuable since they can hold personal information and company documents that are hard to retrieve if stolen. That’s why the theft of a laptop, which according to the FBI crime statistics will be the case for one out of every 10 devices, is not only a financial inconvenience but also an emotional one. The worst part is that over 90% of stolen laptops are never recovered. It only takes one lost laptop to wreak havoc: Shared files and drives become easily accessible to an outsider via just one stolen device.
So, how do you protect your laptop if it gets stolen, especially when most laptop theft occurs in offices or schools? A laptop tracking system or software for your device or business is a viable solution. With enterprise accounts, each laptop in your institution can use the same computer tracking software to prevent serious data breaches, limit identity theft, and enhance the data security for private information.
There are many software options on the market to choose from. Depending on the type of laptop you use, what types of sensitive information and documents you store, and how many devices are part of your company property, there may be different software options that are best for you. Learn more about the benefits and disadvantages of the most popular computer tracking software available so you can make an informed decision and protect your most valuable possessions.
Why Should Your Company or Institution Have Laptop Tracking Software?
Laptop thefts within offices happen every day at all types of businesses, schools, or other institutions; including some of these massive data breaches that occurred in the last couple of years at secure and prominent organizations. Sadly, according to a CNBC article in 2017, workplace crime costs U.S. companies $50 billion a year. For the banking industry, in a 2020 article, U.S. Risk explained that employee theft and fraudulent operations were some of the biggest issues for that industry. Installing tracking software on every company device can prevent a lot of inefficient time and confusion around possible fraud or theft situations.
Enterprise laptop tracking software does a lot more than providing a vague location for your stolen laptop for a police report. It should also add an extra layer of security to your devices, extend the ability for IT personnel to disable a phone or laptop in just a few clicks, and provide evidence of the theft for later convictions. Within a company, most employees access sensitive company information daily, including in email, technical code, financial reports, or operating documents, and proprietary applications. Stopping this information from getting out and into the hands of even the most basic laptop booster is an integral part of IT data security.
How Does Tracking Software Actually Work?
Advanced computer tracking software should use some combination of GPS, WiFI triangulation, and GeoIP to locate your phone, laptop, or tablet. This allows you as the owner or IT representative to use this information to the fullest extent in order to track and get the device back as quickly as possible. Even if you store data somewhere else, like in the cloud, on company servers, or on a separate personal storage device, those measures won’t solve data security problems for your business as a whole. The only real way to secure all of your sensitive information is to make sure it is cleared from all employee or student devices and inaccessible to non-employees who may get their hands on the laptop
Computer tracking software can also help you monitor IT assets within a corporation, in general, so that there aren’t any electronics that get mistakenly displaced. If you’re a remote company or have computers that change hands or travel throughout an institution, it’s important to have a way to track the location of that device and make sure it is where company records indicate it should be. If a laptop is supposed to be in Troy, New York and it pops up in Troy, Alabama, these installed trackers proactively alert IT and physical security personnel to a possible theft or breach. This depth of tracking also helps identify false reporting of lost laptops as well.
Ready to figure out which software will work best for your company or school? Let’s dive into the pros and cons of some of the top programs.
Best Laptop Location Tracking Software
There are a lot of computer tracking software packages out there to choose from, and each one is especially suited for particular types of users and needs. Not only do graphical user interfaces and dashboards vary among these platforms but some pair better with certain applications or operating systems that may already be in use within your institution.
Brought to you by The Prey Project, this tracking software is an excellent one-stop shop. Within one company account is a single online hub that allows users to find, lock, and secure all company gadgets.
More benefits of Prey include:
- Access to three different location technologies (GPS, WiFI triangulation, and GeoIP) to find phones, laptops, or tablets
- Customizable tracking that can be done actively or on demand
- Timestamp reports on a laptop's present location
- Ability to lock and prohibit access to a laptop as well as photograph the thief and any current sessions on screen
- Remote ability to delete saved passwords, preventing access to internet accounts or banking credentials
- A free multi-platform tracking program with several useful features for the first three devices registered
- Multi OS integration for Android, Windows, Ubuntu, Chrome OS, iOS, macOS, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones
This software boasts a customizable dashboard and the ability to measure device usage.
More benefits of Absolute DDS include:
- Constant connection to all of your endpoints and the data they hold, allowing you to provide a digital learning experience while also encouraging a safer school environment and a safeguarding of your IT assets
- Two-way connection with each device to assess risk and implement remote security steps to secure each endpoint, create a safer school environment, and recover stolen devices
- Cloud-based console that requires no new IT infrastructure
One disadvantage of this software is that it could require more in-depth training for customers.
This platform offers users from all walks of life, including individuals, parents, and IT managers, peace of mind with its GPS technology tracking.
More benefits of LockItTight include:
- Tools you can use to spy on your would-be robber, including the discovery of their location, a screen capture of their activity, the ability to snap a photo with the device’s webcam, and a view of their browser history
- Detailed information about theft activities on the device, which will enhance the likeliness of laptop retrieval
- Google Maps integration
One disadvantage of this software is that the free version is very limited in terms of the number of devices protected. Besides, the user interface is very limited.
This software includes a licensing feature that allows employees to add their own devices to the computer tracking suite.
More benefits of EXO5 include:
- Laptop tracking to the exact street and accurate display of IP address connection
- Wi-Fi triangulation technology and Google Maps user interface
- Updates on new software installed on the device
- Remotekill for data encryption
One disadvantage to this specific software is that setup and day-to-day use may be too advanced for non-IT personnel.
Hidden Anti Theft
This program offers great protection for Mac OS products.
More benefits of Hidden Anti Theft include:
- Proven technology that can follow a lost Macbook, iPhone, or iPad and collection of evidence required to recover them
- Customizable remote lockdown that always keeps your data secure
One disadvantage of this software is that it only works with Apple products and macOS systems (PC versions are in development).
A Few More Computer Tracking Tips
When it comes to any kind of theft, time is of the essence. When a laptop is stolen, it is often powered down or in sleep/low-power mode. As soon as it is turned on, whether the thief is assessing general operability or analyzing an organization’s data, the installed laptop tracking software for your business will kick in, too. Soon, alerts will get sent via an established internet connection to the company software administrators and monitors, and the location services will start tracking the device.
However, these programs typically only work when the device is turned on, which means the best enterprise computer tracking software has battery-efficient tracking to find your device and acts quickly to disseminate information back to the company before the device is shut down again. A great laptop tracking system will not only allow you to monitor and reclaim a stolen laptop quickly, but also offer proof to the authorities that it was actually stolen in the first place.
No matter how small your network is, installing a laptop tracking system on your devices might be one of the best steps you can take when it comes to device and data security within your company. Everyone is a target, but not everyone needs to be a victim.
Having a robust enterprise laptop tracking software on your organization’s devices can take the burden off of your data security team and your employees in the case that an unplanned theft or loss of a device happens.
A great computer tracking software has benefits and features, including:
- ease of use and accurate tracking tools
- physical and data protection
- technology that answers all of questions about a theft or loss event
Prey includes these features and more. Whether you're looking to protect your own devices, or manage an enterprise fleet, Prey has a plan and platform for you.