Technology helps S. Carolina man find stolen computer

Published: Aug. 25, 2012 at 8:54 PM CDT
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) A Myrtle Beach man credits a computer software program with helping him track down his stolen laptop computer. Daniel Boorn said his program, called Crashplan led him to figure out who was using his stolen computer. Crashplan is a backup software program, intended to back up all files on a person's computer, but it also allows the owner to search Internet history. Boorn searched his computer's Internet history from a different computer, and saw the websites the individual was using.

"It really worked well to track the individual. By all means, it's not meant to do this but if you don't have protection on your computer to track the location, this was a great way to not only see what they were doing but I also didn't lose any files," Boorn said.

Crashplan isn't the only type of program that can track down websites. There are programs like I-Cloud and Prey Project that go as far as launching the web camera on the stolen computer, or phone, and the owner can catch a glimpse of whoever is using the "stolen" device. Boorn said Crashplan allowed him to see the user checking a Facebook page.

"This particular application allowed me to download the Safari Internet history from the laptop and by doing that, I was actually able to see what the person who had the possession of the laptop was doing."

Boorn said he was able to see each and every website visited.

"It was really bizarre to, within a matter of minutes, see what this guy is up to," Boorn said.

Because Crashplan backs up the documents to a remote location, even if Boorn never saw his computer again, he'd still have access to everything on it.

"I knew that all my work documents were safe especially we have family photos on there of our children when they were infant that are irreplaceable. But, I didn't have to worry about that at all because it was all backed up," Boorn said.

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