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Undercover 5: the best way to secure and recover a stolen Mac

A few years ago I wrote about Orbicule's Undercover 4 software. Undercover lets you remotely track and monitor a missing Mac, and can even help you recover your stolen gear. Given the Mac security issues in the news over the last few days, it's worthwhile reviewing some best practices to help keep your Mac as secure as it can be. That's why I'm happy to tell you that Orbicule has come out with a brand new version of its security and recovery software: Undercover 5.

Undercover is sometimes compared to iCloud's Find My iPhone/iPad/Mac feature. However, Apple's Find My device feature pales compared to Orbicule's Undercover 5. Load the software on your computer and it silently runs in the background constantly monitoring your Mac's location. Should your Mac go missing, you can go to www.undercoverhq.com and start tracking your Mac remotely.

From the Undercover HQ center you can see the current and past locations of your Mac, quietly activate your Mac's FaceTime camera to take photos of the thief, and quietly take screenshots so you can see what the thief is doing at any given time. All of this is done incognito, so the temporary new custodian of your laptop won't have any idea that they're being monitored every moment.

But the best feature about Undercover 5 is that you can now activate a keylogger, so every single thing the thief types -- from Facebook usernames and passwords, to instant messages, to emails to his accomplices and/or parole officer are all logged and sent back to you to view in your Undercover HQ dashboard.

After you've collected FaceTime pics, geolocations, screenshots, and keylog files (all shown automatically in your "Thief Report" section of the Undercover HQ center) you can quickly and simply submit all this information to the local police. But what's even cooler -- and a bit out of a Hollywood movie -- is that if the police can't recover the stolen Mac, you can always resort to Undercover's aptly named "Plan B."

Plan B allows you to launch a simulated hardware failure on your Mac so the thief has no choice but to take it into an Apple Store for repair. Once you track it to the Apple Store (or Best Buy or wherever) you then activate part two of plan B -- you tell the Mac to display a message on the screen saying the Mac has been stolen and the repair shop should hold onto it and call the police.

I cannot recommend Undercover 5 enough. It's especially important for those of you who just splashed all that cash on a MacBook Pro with Retina display, but at only US$49.00 for one license (licenses of 5 for $59.00 or 25 Macs for $299 are available -- as are student discounts) every owner of any kind of Mac should purchase Undercover 5.

And for those of you wondering, Undercover 5 cannot be deleted off your Mac without your administrator password and even then the thief would need to know that Undercover is actually installed, which is very hard to know since there is no app icon or any kind of System Preference settings. Undercover is kind of like Batman; it works silently in the background and the bad guy never knows it's there until it's too late (sure, a thief could restore your Mac, but that's impossible to do if you set a firmware password).

Check out the video below that shows how Undercover 5 works, then do yourself a favor and buy the software. If your Mac is ever nicked, you'll thank yourself for it.



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Mac

The temporary new custodian of your laptop won't have any idea that they're being monitored every moment.