Even though electronic devices are becoming more a part of our everyday life, South Georgia electronics experts say few people take easy steps to protect them from theft. We found out some of that protection is free.
One Lee County man's tracking software on his laptop helped break up a suspected burglary ring this week in Albany, and experts say you can use the same technology to protect all your electronic equipment.
The LoJack tracking device on Albany Fire Department Arson Investigator Sam Harris' laptop computer led Police right to the home, where it was recovered. Harris said beside the violation he felt from being burglarized, he hated to lose a big part of his life downloaded in that laptop.
"How many hours you spent putting your photographs, putting your music. All of your life is on this computer," Harris said.
But South Georgia computer experts say few electronics owners take the time to protect their devices.
"No, I have yet to have anyone ask about the best way to safeguard their electronics," said Albany Computer Manager Robert Schacht.
Most tracking software devices cost per month, but we found one new free service called "Preyproject", tested it and found that it worked. You can download its software into three devices for free. And experts say this technology should become more commonplace.
"The software is becoming more and more mainstream, because it's, the devices are becoming more mainstream," Schacht said.
Thieves target laptops, computers and electronics because they are easy to sell on the streets. But these tracking services could make thieves stay away from them, because it can lead the cops right to their front door.
"If you are going to invest the money in it, safeguard it. Track it. Keep a way of finding it if it's lost, stolen."
And it's not just laptops, but tablets, PDA's, cellphones. The tracking devices will work on almost all your electronics, and now that the software is free, experts say everyone should consider checking it out, and making crooks want to have nothing to do with them.
Schacht says if you buy a new electronic device, you should register it with the manufacturer immediately.
When they know the owner's name, all the information is stored inside the electronics, and even if they destroy the outside markings, the device can still be tracked by its internal hardware.
Some new cellphones have programs that allow you to text message the device if it is lost or stolen, and it will send you back it's GPS coordinates, so if it's stolen you can track it down.
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