MacBook Theft Tracking & Recovery Software – Hidden

Dec 23, 2010 - 23 Comments

mac theft tracking and recovery software

Hidden is theft tracking software for Mac OS X that works to help you recover your stolen MacBook Pro (or MacBook Air, MacBook, and any other Mac OS X machine really). It works by laying dormant on your Mac until you visit the Hidden website and mark your computer as stolen, this then activates the tracking software. Once activated, Hidden starts gathering a slew of information on your missing Mac, including location plotted on Google Maps (see screenshot above), photos of the thief via the built-in iSight camera, screenshots of your Mac in use and what the thief is doing, IP addresses, and more.

After you can install the app, you can test out its efficacy yourself by using ‘Test Mode’ through their web control panel, this will give you an idea of the data collected and how the app works. Hidden reportedly works across the globe, so whether you’re in San Francisco or Budapest you’ll be able to get use out of the app.

To get the most out of Hidden, the developers recommend setting up and enabling a separate password free Guest account. While this is contrary to the usual Mac security recommendations, it makes sense here, because with Hidden running you actually want the thief to be using the computer so that you can gather information about them. With all this data captured, you can turn it over to local authorities to pursue the thief.

Now here’s the best part, Hidden is free to download and install until January, after which the price is a low $20.

Update: Apparently Hidden is no longer free, the developer was swarmed with requests and had to cancel the offer. If you are looking for a free anti-theft solution, try PreyProject.

Get Hidden for Mac OS X here for $20

Check out the video below to see how the app installs, works, and what it tracks:

If you have a MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or even a desktop Mac and you’re at all concerned about theft, you should grab this software. Free is an amazing price for what may help you recover a stolen Mac some day, and hey even if you miss out on the free deal, $20 is a small price to pay if it means the difference between finding a stolen Mac or having to buy a new one.

Thanks to LifeHacker for finding this one!

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Posted by: William Pearson in Mac OS X, Security

23 Comments

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  1. Parakeet says:

    Best

    Deal

    Ever

    I just hope I never need to actually use it.

  2. ademsemir says:

    why use this when there is the open source app prey. its also awesome and cross platform. i don’t remember if you have had an article on it yet, if not you should. open source FTW!

    http://preyproject.com/

  3. robopiloto says:

    It’s hard to believe that from a free app they will not use your personal information for their own benefits.

  4. Matthew says:

    They’ve ended the promotion early; doh.

  5. qmcswret says:

    Unfortunately, the company was ill-prepared for the response generated by this offer and felt compelled to terminate the free offer early. According to their website, it was necessary “in fairness to their paying customers”.
    If you can’t backup your own offer of a free gift until January 1, 2011, I’m not sure I want to rely on you to recover my stolen Mac anyway! Thanks, but no thanks….

  6. A Carmel Photographer says:

    After trying to register for the gift all day yesterday I received notice this morning that HIDDEN was canceling their offer.

    If a company can’t follow through on their promises would you consider buying their product?

    NO! Forget HIDDEN, there are other options available from companies without a history of false promises.

  7. docMD says:

    Managed to nab it while it was still open, seems to be a fairly easy and simple way to add a little bit more security. Hopefully I will never have to know if it actually works.

  8. acslater says:

    That’s a crappy deal… I was able to register it this morning in the nick of time. thanks OSXdaily, wouldn’t have found this with out you.

    I would say it’s definitely worth the measly 20 bones tho. compared to the the 1000+ that you spent on you mac.

    sucks that they had to pull it down but I totally understand where they are coming form . Also to be fair, everyone had 3 weeks to get the free offer.

  9. NM says:

    all good and dandy until the person reformats the harddrive!

  10. mike says:

    ITS NO LONGER FREE, Whats going on I thought till January Free

  11. Kent says:

    Does it work if the laptop being reformat or the hdd being replaced?

  12. Frustrated Almost Customer says:

    I postponed, since I was so busy before xmas. Now I will give them a miss for not keeping promises. No more trust.

  13. stephenrs says:

    Prey is awesome…and very free. Really not sure why anyone would pay for the same service, especially after the broken promise. Also, keep in mind that it’s not only that the Hidden folks broke their promise, but the fact that they were forced to highlights what sounds like an infrastructure problem. This adds up to…not quite as trustworthy as you’d expect from someone who’s supposed to help you protect your computer.

  14. pkclSoft says:

    Another free option, though slightly different is the open-source app iAlertU (http://sourceforge.net/projects/ialertu/).

    There is also an iPhone app that allows you to connect to your Mac remotely and get images from the webcam (http://www.pkclsoft.com/pkclsoft/ualertme.html) which isn’t free, but is close enough to being so.

  15. Lyn Levett says:

    I had my computer stolen a few months ago. My computer came back on line Saturday. I gathered plenty of evidence. The police said they couldn’t do much as I am in London and the computer is in Manchester. I am angry.

    • Denise Johnson says:

      how did your computer go online… how did you track it \…. is there any way that you can track your stolen app without this program as i never thought my mac would get stolen obviously

  16. steve says:

    I use prey, was burgled last monday, tracked macbook on tues morn, police raided suspect couple of hours later and had my stuff back that evening – crim in custody and in court 15/6

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