How can i use my built in laptop webcam to protect my laptop from theft?
June 20, 2008 6:08 AM   Subscribe

How can i use my built in laptop webcam to protect my laptop from theft?

My laptop has a built in webcam at the top of the screen and i would like to know how to use it to protect my laptop.
I was thinking something along the lines of it automatically taking a picture when someone logs on (or even better, while booting).
posted by freddymetz to Technology (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There's no way to use the built in camera to protect your laptop from theft.

You might have some luck catching the thief* if they're dumb enough to ever run your OS** after stealing your laptop, instead of just formating the drive back to zeros.

*IFF you somehow manage to track them down based on a grainy webcam quality still.

**and connect to an unsecured internet connection.

P.S. You need to fix your tags.
posted by tiamat at 6:18 AM on June 20, 2008

Your best protection against theft is keeping your laptop with you at all times or using a security cable.

A photo of a thief would only be useful if you also configured the laptop to automatically email or publish the photo in some other way - hard to do if the thief turns around and sells the laptop without connecting to the internet.

And even you had a photo of the thief, what are the chances you would recognize this person? Laptops are generally stolen by strangers.

All that said, if you want to know if someone has been accessing your laptop without your knowledge, then this is possibly one solution...
posted by wfrgms at 6:23 AM on June 20, 2008

What kind of laptop do you have?
posted by nitsuj at 6:26 AM on June 20, 2008

If you have a mac, there's undercover.
posted by ddaavviidd at 6:28 AM on June 20, 2008

nthing on Undercover for after your computer's been stolen.

There's also Theftsensor, which uses your camera as a motion sensor, so it's actually a deterrent.

Here's a good resource on the different things you can use.

Here's a story on a girl who used a workaround to catch the laptop thieves (Back to my Mac, Photobooth).
posted by MaddyRex at 6:47 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: i have a medion laptop with windows vista and ubuntu installed, so mac apps arent a possibility.
It would still be good to have this app to find out whos been on my laptop.
What other ways then are there to keep my laptop safe?
Whats a security cable?

@ wfrgms: how do i configure it to send it automatically?
posted by freddymetz at 6:55 AM on June 20, 2008

Yawcam (webcam security, Windows)
Dorgem (webcam security, Windows)
LocatePC (locate location via emails, Windows)
LaptopLock (remote file deletion, Windows)
posted by sharkfu at 8:11 AM on June 20, 2008

Whats a security cable?

This is.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:37 PM on June 20, 2008

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