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Thieves, Be Aware: Laptop Owners Are Watching!

You may have heard the recent story on National Public Radio (NPR):  A man reported getting his laptop stolen.  However, he had installed a program that would allow him to track his computer whenever it was turned on.  He was able to see the user (and his whereabouts) through the laptop’s camera!  Police were able to nab the thief and return the laptop.

Little did we think that we’d experience a similar story in our own agency!  One of our long-term clients, Kevin L., recently reported that his house had been broken into and that several electronics including his laptop, had been stolen.

The total value of stolen property was lower than his deductible, so Kevin didn’t file a claim.  But when Nick shared with him the NPR story, Kevin thought he might have some software on his laptop that would allow him to remotely access the computer without the thief’s knowing.

Sure enough – Kevin was able to take screen shots of what the person was doing with his computer, and captured her on Facebook.   He passed this information on to the police, and she was found!

It turned out that she wasn’t the thief, but may have been given the laptop by the thief.  Police are hoping to find and return the rest of his stolen belongings to Kevin.

The moral of the story:  Investigate tracking software for your mobile electronics, protect your computer and your accounts with strong passwords and back up your files! The “good guys” aren’t the only ones who know how to remotely access a PC.  Consider engraving your electronics so that they are more easily recognizable as stolen property in pawn shops.



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