Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How to prevent laptop theft or track your stolen laptop

There is an old saying -"Prevention is better than cure". Before your precious laptop actually gets stolen why not take some steps to make it difficult for the thief to steal it? When you are in a public space like a library you are usually hesitant to leave your laptop for a few minutes, afraid that someone will take your laptop. Now there is a simple and free solution to this problem!

A software called Laptop Alarm will emit a loud alarm whenever someone tries to steal your laptop!

* The alarm will ring when someone tries to log off or shut down your laptop to take it with him.
* When the laptop is disconnected from AC-power (someone pulls the AC adapter plug out) the alarm will go off!
* When your USB mouse is pulled out the alarm will go off! If someone wants to take your laptop he will definitely pull your mouse out.
* It even has a SMS service where an SMS is sent to your cell phone if somebody tries to steal or actually steals your laptop. The service cost 3 to 10 Euros depending on the number of SMS it sends.

If the worst happens to your computer and it is stolen then usually there's no way to track where it is. That's where LocatePC comes in.

LocatePC sends you a secret email message from your computer containing vital information that can help you and law enforcement track a stolen computer, and eventually return it to you.
LocatePC is free software, and runs unobtrusively on your computer, with no icons, popups or saved emails. If your computer is stolen then the thief will not even know that LocatePC is running, and as soon as they connect to the internet a secret email is sent to you containing the details that you need to track your hardware.

Another software called LoJack works the same way. LoJack® for Laptops is a theft protection service that tracks, locates and recovers stolen laptop and desktop computers. Software installed on your computer works behind the scenes to silently and securely contact their Monitoring Center, and if stolen, reports its location using any Internet connection. The manufacturer claims that they recover three out of every four stolen computers. If they can't recover your stolen computer in 30 days, you’ll receive a full refund for the purchase price of the software, which is $50 per year. You can also look at nTracker.

Rather than relying on softwares you could try securing your laptop with locks and chains to prevent it's theft. Laptop security solutions has a number of products and mechanical devices that could help you secure your laptop.

If that's not enough Security Focus provide you with more tools and software and has a good number of advices that you should definitely read.

Also read: Track and recover stolen laptop with open source Adeona


  1. Well prevention is better than cure that is true, but it’s also worth covering the angle of protecting the information stored on the laptop in a proactive way.
    Forget about hardware worth a few hundred dollars when you can lose your identity and business related information worth endless amounts...

    I’d like to compare losing a laptop with losing a wallet. It’s not the actual laptop hardware that is the big problem it is the information stored on it that is... – much like the value of the leather wallet is nothing compared to its contents and the value of your identity...
    What you really need to do is to encrypt all data on your mobile devices to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the data and then worry about the physical value of the laptop. There are plenty commercial solutions out there, Gartner positioned the Pointsec solutions now from Check Point Software as the leaders in the last seven years of their reports on mobile data protection. For all you consumers, there are also many open source solutions available (free of charge). One of them TrueCrypt. It’s also worth thinking of a solution to backup the data of your mobile devices so that your data can be recovered and downloaded to a new replacement device. One such solution that is very popular is Mozy.com offering a free 2 GB trial...

  2. Prevention is a lot better than cure. As the previous commenter pointed out its not so much the value of the laptop itself but more the content stored within.

    For that reason I recommend the anti-theft laptop bags from Pacsafe http://www.pacsafe.com

  3. I agree with both of you, that losing valuable data is lot worse when compared to the loss of hardware. Protecting data in a laptop or on a desktop is an important issue that deserves a separate and special treatment. My intention here was only to make people aware of the existence of softwares that makes laptop "call home" when stolen.

    Encrypting data on your laptop will prevent others from misusing it but you would still lose them anyway. Protecting your laptop itself can go a long way in ensuring the security of both the hardware as well as the contents within.

  4. I found a blog post what describes about "how to avoid loosing your laptop?"



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