Evildoers like Macbooks, Thwart Them with “Find my iPhone”

Apple offers a special “Find my iPhone” option as a part of their free iCloud cloud storage and backup service.  Despite it’s name, you can use this tool to locate most of Apple’s product line, including your Macbook.

Setting up “Find my iPhone”

To activate this feature you first must establish an Apple ID.  If you’ve ever bought anything from iTunes or have an iPhone, or iPad, and have bought apps from the App Store, then you already have an Apple ID.  It’s usually your email address and whatever password you signed up with.

If you do not have an Apple ID, you can sign up for one, start iTunes on your computer and select Create Apple ID from the Store menu.   You do need to give Apple a credit card as part of the sign up process, but it’s just to give them something to charge against if you buy applications from the App Store, or media via iTunes.

  1. On your Macbook, select System Preference from the Apple menu.
  2. Click on iCloud under Internet and Wireless
  3. Sign in using your Apple ID and password (note that you may already have signed in previously)
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the list of iCloud features until you see “Find My Mac”
  5. Put a checkmark next to “Find My Mac”
  6. Quit System Preferences from the File menu.

Using “Find my iPhone”

Should your computer get lost or stolen (or your iPad, or your iPhone), use any other network connected computer to go to http://icloud.com

  1. Log in using the same Apple ID and password that your computer us signed in with.
  2. Click on the “Find my iPhone” icon (non intuitive, I know)
    You will be shown a Google Map.
  3. Click on the Devices button in the upper left hand corner of the screen and select your Macbook from the list of devices assigned to your Apple ID.
  4. If you see your computer on the map, and it isn’t at a location where you left it, call the police and tell them where to nab those evildoers.

You can also use “Find my iPhone” to lock the device with a six digit code that will prevent anyone from using the machine until entered again.

If the machine is in an inaccessible or dangerous location, you can choose to wipe the contents of the machine, but you only want to do this as a last resort to protect your personal and UVM sensitive information.

Note: Erasing your Mac will also remove the machine from “Find My Mac” and you will not be able to locate it again.  Last resort, right?

Thanks for taking steps to both protect yourselves and UVM from financial and informational losses.