Chances are good that most – if not all – of us leave our computers unattended somewhere, sometime. For me this is at home. Though I generally abide by best practices and shut down before leaving my computer, occasionally I don’t. I can be caught close my MacBook’s lid and heading out the door to run an errand, walk the dog, whatever. I do have some peace of mind that no one is messing with my computer, however. This is because of an app called Blink.
Blink is a very lightweight application that does nothing more than send you an alert when your computer wakes or sleeps. Do you wonder if your boyfriend has been messing with your computer? Do you have a nosy roommate? Do you leave your computer asleep in your hotel room when you go to the pool? If so, Blink is right for you! It will let you know if your computer is being messed with while you’re away.
Blink requires that you have a Mac and a companion iOS device. You install the free app on your Mac(s). Next, you install the iOS version on your phone. The version of Blink that goes on your phone requires a one-time purchase price of $1.99. Once both are up and running, they must be paired. Both devices must be on the same Wi-Fi network to pair†. Click the Blink icon in your Mac’s menu bar and scroll down to “Pair”. Select the device to which you’d like to pair. Once paired you can test the connection by clicking Devices, [Your Device], Ping. Ping will send a test notification to your phone.
Once the devices are paired you can walk away with confidence that if anyone opens your laptop you will know about it. Because the Mac version of the application is free, you can install this on as many computers as you like, and receive a notification when any are tampered with. Further, the app displays nothing on the Mac’s screen to indicate the notification has been sent. Though I don’t see any utility from a security standpoint, Blink will also notify you when your computer goes to sleep. Both of the apps are incredibly lightweight, and don’t have complicated menus. The only button on the iOS version brings up a window with pairing instructions. The only permissions the app requests for iOS are notifications.
If you’re looking for a really simple way to tell if someone is trying to have a look at your Mac, give Blink a shot.
†Even though the documention for Blink says Wi-Fi is all that is required to pair, I had some difficulty. I found that until I enabled Bluetooth on my iPhone, it was not available in the Mac app’s “Pair” menu. Subsequent pairings worked as advertised, however.
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