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Today we were robbed. A thief come to our home at night and stole some stuff including my brother's laptop.

I think that the right thing to do is to download a keylogger on my PC, just in case...

I want a free keylogger, which has GPS to locate the PC, I know professional thieves will not connect the PC to the internet or sell it before they format it, but not all thieves are professionals... we'll never know... I have to do my homework and secure my PC as much as possible and hope for the best.

I am on Windows XP 32 bit, SP3

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There is a handy tool called prey that allows you to track your devices (laptops, tablets and smartphones) and reports back to you. If your device becomes missing you tell prey and it jumps into action. The device begins trying to 'phone home' and will report its IP and geolocation information. In the case of smartphones or laptops with built-in gps it reports that data as well. Laptops report Wifi access points in the vicinity and reports those to calculate the location of the device. When prey is running on a laptop with a built in webcam it even takes pictures of the person using the device. Prey does not come with a keystroke logger however it is open source and one could be built into the code or you could add another key logging solution if you really want to see what is being typed however I would think the location functionality is really more important than seeing what a thief is searching for on your pc.

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thank you sir, i just loved prey!! the funny think though is that my phone was stolen so i have to make sure next time that i hide my cellphone so i can track my pc :) –  Someone Like You Dec 31 '11 at 10:20
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I'm afraid shopping questions are offtopic for here, however some advice:

  • A keylogger is not a locator - what you want to google for is a locator/phone home/remote control/remote wipe application

  • The application itself will not have gps - you need a physical gps receiver to do that - but if it can report its IP address that may help, and some can hook into wireless MAC address data (if your PC has a wireless card) to locate themselves that way

  • Buy a cable lock - if someone wants the machine they can rip it out, but it is then damaged, so a thief won't be able to sell it as easily

  • If you are worried about the confidentiality of your data, use full disk encryption (TrueCrypt or similar) - this won't stop a thief taking your PC but will prevent them accessing it.

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There is software that you can install that allows you to locate your laptop. It also allows law enforcement to locate your laptop ( provided the laptop is not wiped clean ) and likely retrieve it. You have a great deal more research to do, so I won't give suggestions, the best physical security solution is keep your laptop in a location which can can secured. –  Ramhound Dec 30 '11 at 13:20
@Ramhound - do you want to add this as a comment on the actual question? or possibly as an answer itself? –  Rory Alsop Dec 30 '11 at 15:02
thank you sir:) –  Someone Like You Dec 31 '11 at 10:18
@RoryAlsop - I replied to your answer for a reason. My comment has to do with your answer. –  Ramhound Jan 3 '12 at 15:14
@Ramhound - it just wasn't relevant to my answer. I know various locator software apps used by law enforcement, but they do not physically locate the machine unless there is some sort of GPS or Wireless. –  Rory Alsop Jan 3 '12 at 19:49
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Check out this Youtube video on how to find your computer once stolen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4oB28ksiIo.

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thanks for sharing the video :) the guy is right - if you password protect your pc, it will be formatted :) it's better not to protect the pc with password, stupid thieves will use it as it is :D –  Someone Like You Jan 3 '12 at 15:57
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