Making the most out of Prey: Tips and Tricks for Data Security

by Matias Wolff 3, Mar, 2017

post-ashley.gifHaving your devices secured is amazing. You can track them, manage them and even have a software like Prey tell you when your devices have been turned off for a while, or if they left a specific location, and more. So with this in mind, I thought to put together some tips on how to make the most out of Prey.

First of all, lets peak into how Prey works. It is an invisible security and tracking software that runs behind your device’s own OS, and that constantly sends data of its location and current status. It will not show at first glimpse that you have it installed or even running, allowing you to catch the thief by surprise if you have the means to recover it, always with help of your local police.

But at the same time, in order for Prey to work, be it on a smart device or laptop, the device must be turned on. Check out these tips to improve your chances of recovery if your device was stolen:

Make it hard for them to format your PC

A laptop can be formatted from more than one source if you know how to do it. So let’s make it harder for them to format the computer and force them to turn on the device by checking the following steps:

  • Password-protect your BIOS
  • Block boot options from outside sources

With these two barriers, any user who wants to properly format your device must do it manually since all other options such as connecting a Pendrive with external boot are blocked. When they turn on the device and connect it to the Internet, it will be possible that Prey will be activated and ready to give you all the information you need.

We also know that you don’t want people to see your private information, data or photos, and you’ll have your session blocked for a very valid reason, but we really need you to have a session where the thief can get in, and a Visitor account won’t have enough permissions for Prey to work properly. That's why we recommend you to:

  • Have an extra, unlocked session with permission for the thief to enter

Like we said, we need whoever is using your device to use it, and if the only session is under a strong password, they won’t be able to reach the point where Prey activates and helps you recover your device. But if you leave another unprotected session with nothing but Prey, everything the evildoer does there will be valuable information for us to help you while also protecting your data.

Know how to react depending on your needs

So, your device got stolen. That sucks, we know. But don’t get desperate and press all the buttons that Prey offers. Lay back, drink a glass of water and think: What is most valuable for me? My data or my device? Depending on your answer, you might want to act differently.

  • Recover your Device

While Prey offers you the options to turn on an alarm and block the screen, if you want to recover your device, your go-to option should be to be patient and use the more passive options that the software has.

What you want to do here is be sure the thief doesn’t realize you have Prey installed, so that they use your device while Prey is silently acting in the background. The longer they're using it, the more information we can get. Stuff like photos with the frontal camera, screencaps and geolocation are some of the pieces of information you will automatically and periodically get via our advanced reports system.

  • Get rid of all your data

Here’s where you go crazy. If you decided to reduce the chances of recovering your device in exchange of being sure your data is gone, you should block access of the thief, and wipe your data before they've got the chance of seeing it. Using this method the thief will know you’re using some kind of data security software and will act with more caution, but at the same time, you’ll know your data will be safe in a digital dumpster.

If you suspect the device is nearby, you can turn on the alarm to give whoever has the device a big scare.

With these tips, you’ll be able to make the most out of Prey and handle difficult situations better. But don’t think this is it. You can check our other features to learn more on how you can take advantage of the software.

Have we helped you to recover your devices or protect your data? We’d love to hear your story! Leave us a comment below or write to us.

Device recovery and management

Matias Wolff
Matias Wolff

CMO at Prey. BA in Advertising with a major in Marketing from Universidad del Pacífico. Master in International Marketing at ESMA, Barcelona. 18 years’ experience in multinational companies. I am a volunteer at the Endeavor program, and teach Integrated Marketing Communications at the Masters in Innovation program, Universidad Católica de Chile.
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