Mac computer users should take a look at Undercover by Orbicle which effectively renders a stolen mac useless to a thief and there’s even a chance it will help you get your Mac back or see what the thief looks like!
Once installed if your mac is ever stolen you visit the Undercover website and enter your unique ID number at which point they start looking for your mac.
As soon the the stolen mac connects to the internet the IP addresses and router address is logged which helps trace the physical location of your mac and, if your mac has an iSight webcam, sends pictures of the thief every few minutes.
If you still don’t get your mac back at least you have the satisfaction of knowing the thief won’t enjoy using your mac for long. After half an hour Undercover simulates an intermittent hardware failure (even if the mac isn’t online). If the thief decides to sell you mac or take it in for repair Undercover will track this and will shout and display a full-screen message alerting the reseller (or someone who bought the Mac from the thief) that the Mac has been stolen and should be returned along with Undercover’s contact information and reward offer.
They seem to have thought of everything and the prices are really cheap:
* Single User license: $49
* Household license: $59
* Site license: $249
* Student license: $39
* Volume educational license: $8/Mac
There’s also iAlertU which is a free alternative to Undercover, it doesn’t include the network tracking but is a more in-your-face deterrent. There’s no reason why you couldn’t use both.
I should mention I have no connection with Undercover by Orbicle apart from being a customer.