This alarm app will prevent thieves from stealing your MacBook
If you often exercise in coffee shops or other public places, you may 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 to spot the opportunity and grab your MacBook while you turn your back. Now there’s a new Mac app called Clyde which helps you protect your laptop in these situations—using unexpected shame as a powerful anti-theft tool.
How Clyde protects your MacBook
Once you have Clyde installed and running, it will sit in the menu bar until you need it. When you’re about to step away from your laptop for a while, click on Clyde’s menu bar icon and select Turn on Clyde. This will automatically lock the MacBook.
You can now move away from your Mac for a break—but watch out you don’t close the lid. When someone closes the MacBook lid, Clyde makes a sound very high alarm. It’s loud enough to scare off would-be thieves and disturb people in the cafe, making it an effective deterrent.
The limitations of this app
While Clyde does its job pretty well, it’s far from perfect. One of the biggest weaknesses is that it only works when someone closes the lid of the laptop. If they just 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 anyone at a moment’s notice, so a startled person is unlikely to be able to disable it quickly enough.
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Clyde disables itself when you unlock your Mac, which means you need to activate it every time you plan to step away from your desk—not a dealbreaker if you are careful.
The app’s website says Clyde will get a companion app on the iPhone, which will send an iPhone notification whenever the Mac app’s alarm goes off. Until that app is available, Clyde’s utility may be reduced in certain situations if you are not close enough to hear the alarm from the MacBook.
Other anti-theft measures you can consider
Apps like Clyde are fine for secondary security, but they shouldn’t be your only line of defense against theft. Your Mac comes 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, Finn My Mac is an excellent anti-theft feature that is enabled by default as long as you are signed in to your Apple ID. Finally, consider insuring your Mac with plans like AppleCare+ with theft and loss protection, other plans that come with a credit card, or general dedicated laptop insurance. Any of these options will help you replace your stolen Mac without facing too much of a financial burden.