This Alarm App Will Stop Thieves From Stealing Your MacBook

This Alarm App Will Stop Thieves From Stealing Your MacBook

If you frequently work out of coffee shops or other public places, you might be concerned about leaving your laptop unattended when you take a quick bathroom break or step away for a call. You don’t want someone sensing the opportunity and snatching your MacBook while your back is turned. Now, there’s a new Mac app called Clyde that helps you protect your laptop in these situations — by using unexpected shame as a powerful anti-theft tool.

How Clyde protects your MacBook

Once you install and run Clyde, it’ll sit in the menu bar until you need it. When you’re about to step away from the laptop for a bit, click Clyde’s menu bar icon and select Toggle Clyde. This will automatically lock your MacBook.

You can now move away from the Mac for your break — but make sure you don’t close the lid. Whenever someone closes the MacBook’s lid, Clyde sounds a very loud alarm. It’s loud enough to startle would-be thieves and disturb people at the cafe, which makes it an effective deterrent.

The limitations of this app

Although Clyde does its job fairly well, it’s far from perfect. One of its major weaknesses is that it only works when someone shuts your laptop’s lid. If they simply pick up the laptop and run away, the app won’t make a sound. The alarm also stops the moment the lid is opened. It’s loud enough to alert everyone at a moment’s notice, so a startled person is unlikely to be able to disable it quickly enough.

Clyde disables itself when you unlock your Mac, which means you’ll have to enable it each time you plan to step away from your desk — not a dealbreaker if you’re careful.

The app’s website says that Clyde is going to get a companion app on the iPhone, which will send an iPhone alert whenever the Mac app’s alarm rings. Until that app is available, Clyde’s utility may be diminished in certain situations if you’re not near enough to hear the alarm from your MacBook.

Other anti-theft measures you can consider

Apps such as Clyde are nice for secondary security, but they shouldn’t be your only lines of defence against theft. Your Mac ships with built-in full-disk encryption called FileVault, which helps keep your data safe even if your Mac is stolen. This feature is enabled by default on most modern Macs, and you should use a strong password with your Mac’s user account to make it harder for thieves to access your data.

Secondly, Find My Mac is an excellent anti-theft service enabled by default as long as you’re signed in to your Apple ID. Finally, you should consider insuring your Mac with plans such as AppleCare+ with theft and loss protection, other plans that ship with credit cards, or general dedicated laptop insurance. Any of these options will help you replace your stolen Mac without facing too much of a financial burden.


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