In recent years, I have come across some rather innovative ideas for securing laptops and data. From biometric access to actual lock and keys, almost everything has been tried. Some of the most coveted items in recent years has been the Apple laptops – the iBbooks and the newer MacBooks. There, of course, exist many ways of preventing laptop theft, but what if it does get jacked? In case a determined thief does make off with your precious MacBook, if you have a program called Undercover, it may try and fool him into thinking your laptop is dead, while giving you a chance to recover it. The progam sends out an IP address to identify its location if it’s reported stolen, and actually uses the machine’s built-in iSight webcam to snap a photo of the thief – all this before simulating a screen failure that makes the Mac unusable.

Every six minutes, Undercover pings a database maintained by developer Orbicule to check if the machine it’s installed on has been stolen; a positive reply from the server initiates a sequence of events that makes the life of the thief miserable.