There are all kinds of tracking software for both computers and cellphones. When it comes to computers, there are two basic kinds of tracking software: loss prevention software and activity tracking software.
Loss prevention software works similarly to Find My iPhone App on an iPhone. It first needs to be installed on a computer. It then can lock a laptop. It can also display a certain message on the screen or wipe the hard drive. Some apps have a feature that lets a user deploy encryption software remotely. Loss prevention software uses Wi-Fi triangulation technology to identify the location of a laptop similarly to what a gps location sensor would do.
Activity tracking software is a different kind of animal. This software works in a silent mode in the background and monitors activity that is happening on a computer. Depending on its settings, it might be sending screenshots via internet though certain intervals of time. It might be recording and sending all the activity that is happening on a computer or it may start recording when certain applications are turned on.
When it comes to smartphones, loss prevention apps are built in them by default. Apple has Find My iPhone app. It is possible to track a lost Android phone using Google’s Android Device Manager. There is also a lot of spyware available for smartphones. Installing such software on a regular iPhone is impossible, because it is against Apple’s policies. However, it is possible to jailbreak an iPhone and to install spyware on it. Jailbreaking an iPhone means getting access to its root code, which is forbidden by Apple.
Installing spyware on Android is really easy. All one needs to do is simply download and install it.
A lot of these apps require manual installation on the target phone, which allows them to go around the anti-virus software. The data from the target phone then gets uploaded into the cloud, where it can be accessed both from a smartphone and a computer.