Professional Ed. Settings : Main options Reference

the Main options


Read interval

This is the period, in seconds, by which PREDATOR verifies the presence of the USB key. If the key has been removed PREDATOR locks the Desktop: it freezes the keyboard and mouse and the screen turns to black. If you need fast detection, set it to its minimum value (5 seconds). Beware shorter values increase the I/O load on the PC; 30 seconds is a reasonable value for most users. Too long a period may extend too much the delay of detection of the removal of the key.

Write interval

This is the period, in seconds, by which PREDATOR changes the security code on the USB key. By changing this code periodically, PREDATOR ensures that copies of your USB key will be useless for unlocking your computer. We suggest that you select a value between 60 and 120 seconds, because a shorter value would have a perceptible impact on performances without any real benefit.

For some applications, it could be useful to prevent PREDATOR from writing the USB key. Enter 99999 in the Write interval textbox. But beware that this setting will drastically reduce your security because PREDATOR will accept copies of your USB flash drive.

Important: Do not unplug the key while the icon in the notification area is red, because by then PREDATOR may be writing the key. You can safely remove the key when the icon is green.

Screen darkness

When PREDATOR detects the removal of the key, the screen turns to black if Screen darkness=100, it becomes gray with Screen darkness=50, and the brightness does not change if the Screen darkness=1. Set this parameter to suit your preference: a black screen will prevent anyone from seeing what you have been doing while you are away. Note that whatever Screen darkness value you've set, the keyboard and mouse are frozen.

PREDATOR can display a picture instead of a black screen. Select it with the "Picture file" textbox in the Alarm options tab. The "Screen darkness" setting will control the picture's transparency.

AutoStart with Windows

Check this box to automatically launch PREDATOR after opening a Windows session, or leave it unchecked if you prefer a manual launch from the Start Menu / Programs / Predator, or via the PREDATOR Desktop icon.


Current password

When you run PREDATOR for the first time, you define a password that you'll use to unlock your session if you lose your USB key.
You can change this password whenever you want, by typing the old password in this field, then the new password in the next field.

New password

Enter here the new password that you'll use to unlock your session if you lose your USB key.
You must enter at least 6 characters, letters, figures or signs. The password is case sensitive (uppercase and lowercase letters are different). Do not type characters that require the AltGr key because this key is disabled in the Password Dialog.

Always required

Check this box for double security: you'll be forced to enter your password each time you plug back your flash drive to unlock your session.

Flash Drive

This section of the Preferences window is used to manage your USB keys.

List Fixed

If you don't see your flash drive in the "Select Drive" dropdown list then check the "List Fixed" checkbox. As a matter of fact, some USB flash drives (mainly from SanDisk) are identified as fixed drives by Windows.

Select Drive

Verify that the drive letter displayed by default actually matches your flash drive or choose the correct letter from the dropdown list. It is necessary to make this choice when several USB drives are plugged into your PC. For example if you have a USB hard-disk in D: and a USB flash drive in F:, you must select the volume F in the list; otherwise PREDATOR will write the security codes on the hard disk instead of putting them on the flash drive.

Then click the "Register key" button. Writing security codes takes only one second, and your flash drive is ready.
If you have used PREDATOR with a different flash drive before, PREDATOR will append the new one to the list below.
Important: When PREDATOR is running, you should never plug several registered keys in your computer at any given moment.

Optionally, click the "Name" cell corresponding to the newly created key in the list, and enter a few words to describe this flash drive or its user: "Sony 32 Gb" or "Alice", for instance.

  • the current contents of your flash drive will be unchanged by this operation. PREDATOR will only create a small (1 KB) file named "Predator.ctl", and an empty "autorun.inf" folder. Files existing on your USB flash drive will not be deleted nor modified in any way.
  • PREDATOR has a unique copy-protection scheme: if someone tries to copy a PREDATOR key, the copied key will be useless. If you need several flash drives to protect your computer, do not make a copy of your flash drive: prepare your additional key(s) with the "Register key" button.

Register key button

Click this button to write the security codes on the flash drive. The new key will be displayed in the List of keys below.

List of keys

Each time you create a key on a USB flash drive, PREDATOR appends it to this list. You can clearly see how many keys can unlock your session.
If you have configured other accounts to use PREDATOR on your PC, their keys won't be listed here. You'll have to logon with these accounts and open PREDATOR's Preferences to see them.
  • When you plug a USB flash drive into your computer, PREDATOR highlights the corresponding row in the list.
  • If you uncheck the "Enabled" checkbox of a key it will no longer unlock your PC, until you check it again.
  • You can name your keys to make the list more usable: simply click the "Name" cell and enter a short description. When you plug a key to unlock your PC, PREDATOR records this event in its Log along with the name of the key. You can later verify when your computer was used and by whom.
  • The "Key" column shows the internal identifier of the flash drive (for informational purposes)
  • The "Date" column shows the date and time when PREDATOR updated the flash drive for the last time.

Revoke key button

You can tell PREDATOR that a flash drive is no longer allowed to unlock your computer. Select the row corresponding to this flash drive (click in its first cell - the dark one on the left), and click this button. The row will be deleted from the list. Notice that this flash drive doesn't need to be connected to be revoked.

If you want to disable a flash drive for a limited time only, uncheck its "Enabled" checkbox in the list. While the drive is disabled it can't be used to unlock your PC, and you can re-enable it later.