About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

January 19, 2010

You Can be a Spy Too!

Thanks to all of you who sent in the kind comments about the year in review columns for 2009(#1 & #2).  It is good to know that you are using them, liked the repeat of specific sites and that you are continuing to enjoy the column on a regular basis.  So, “Thanks!”

Today I wanted to talk about a very interesting free application that I stumbled upon this week and  the website where I found it.  Everything USB is an interesting site that has…well OK, you guessed it, lots of information about USB devices.  USB stands for “universal serial bus” and is the interface (plug) between your computer, most thumb drives/memory sticks and an array of other items that plug into your computer like camera cables, etc. with the little rectangular interface.  Take a look around there and you may find some interesting info.

One of the things that I found and have tried out for a week or so is called, “Predator“.  The Predator site says, “PREDATOR protects your PC with a USB flash drive” which is exactly what it does.

This is the Yego drive that Ron usesI know you have seen spy movies where they have to plug a device into a computer to unlock  it.  They don’t use the regular username and password we actually use.  Be aware that the majority of movies spotlighting computer use show them doing things computers in the real world don’t do at all.

With Predator installed on your computer you have entered the movie zone.  Once Predator is installed, you just plug in your thumb drive and get almost immediate access to your computer.  When you walk away from your computer just pull the stick out and drop it in your pocket.  Once, your USB device is out of the computer your monitor goes black and locks.

When you come back to your computer, plug in your device and it unlocks for you to use.

This program also requires you to set a Predator password just in case you lose your drive and can’t get into the computer.  If that is the case you simply press the enter key three times and it asks for the password.  You get three tries to enter the correct one.  If you fail it will lock down for 5 minutes and you won’t be able to try again during that time.  Neat little security trick if your friends at work try to get into your computer.

An interesting Predator feature is that it creates a log which you can read.  If anyone tries to log into your computer while you are gone it tells you what they tried and how it failed.  For instance, when you get back and check the log you could see if someone tried to get into your system with the wrong password, etc.  Check the site’s link above for more details.

Is this better than a username and password?  Nope, but it sure is cool.

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