Keep track of lost or stolen smartphones, tablets, and laptops with Prey.

So you’ve shelled out a few hundred bucks for a lovely piece of technological goodness, and then your new, shiny phone slides out of your pocket as you’re getting off the bus to go to class. Or maybe you forget to grab your backpack in the library after the three Rockstars you just chugged have you running to the nearest bathroom. Up until recently, such a situation would have you SOL. Luckily, a handy little program called Prey is here to help you track down your lost or stolen gadget.

Prey is a free program with the option to pay for additional services, and is available for Windows, MacOS X, Ubuntu, and Linux, as well as Android and iOS for your smartphones. It runs hidden in the background of your device while utilizing very little memory. After installation, all you have to do is create an account on Prey’s website and activate your device to begin protecting your investment. When you realize it’s gone missing, you can activate it by sending an SMS (if a smartphone) or by accessing Prey’s control panel online.

After doing so, Prey will not only just locate your gadget by utilizing GPS or nearby Wi-Fi, it will enable you to take pictures of the thief’s face with the webcam at regular intervals to show you the thief’s face and exactly what their surroundings look like. Not only that, but you can set Prey to have an alarm go off ever 30 seconds, track any changes the thief has made on your device, limit access to personal information like emails, passwords, and usernames, and lock the device from use completely. You may even send notifications to the thief telling them that you know who and where they are, and optionally tell them how to contact you to return your device.

However, Prey’s website does advise its users to be sure to not take matters to far into your hands after alerting the thief and to contact the police immediately, making sure to tell them all the information you have gathered from Prey. Once the device is secured, the authorities will likely ask for the device’s  serial number or UUID, which may also be obtained by using a scan on Prey.

It’s that easy, and the few minutes it takes to register your device are well-worth the effort.