A few days ago, one of my colleagues was telling me about how his father’s stolen laptop has been recovered. I’m leaving out the names (for privacy reasons) but it’s a good news story for the end of the week.
In common with many IT workers, my colleague provides technical support for family members and, to make this easier, he had installed LogMeIn. There are any remote control products available (I just use standard RDP/VNC connections) but the advantages of some of the specialist products include NAT traversal (and other firewall-friendly functionality) and, it seems, alerting when a PC is available (or not).
After his father’s PC was stolen, my colleague started to build a new one for him, so, imagine his surprise when the original machine appeared online! Using the remote control software, he was able to identify the user as they browsed a social networking site and then provide the police with fairly conclusive evidence as to who was using the machine.
In the words of my anonymous friend:
Thanks to his use of the LogMeIn software and the user browsing a social networking site (in the process revealing their identity) the computer was recovered and three people spent some time in the custody of the local police force (although I understand the actual recipient of the computer was later released with a caution).
Maybe I’ve finally found a use for social networking websites!