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Laptops are great systems if you’re on the move; to work in the back of the car, or watch a movie under a tree in the back garden. Though however great this portability is, it also brings some disadvantages. The biggest one, ironically, is that same portability.

When walking around with a laptop, you need to constantly watch out for it. Lose your attention for a second and your computer can be gone.

Even more dangerous than getting your laptop stolen, in some cases, is getting your data stolen. A lot of people walk around every day, carrying information that must not be allowed to fall in the wrong hands. Identity theft and any breach of personal privacy are just one side of the problem. Imagine the horror of a big-time CEO when his laptop gets stolen, especially in these economic unstable times.

LaptopLock

LaptopLock, a nifty application, provides a nice and easy back-up plan, both for the relocation of your system after it’s stolen, and for protecting what’s on it.

The application can destroy or encrypt data, or run set actions, after you signal from a remote location. Even when the laptop never connects to the web, the application can trigger these actions after a given time, when the thieves fail to provide the right password.

Installing and Linking LaptopLock

Setting it up is quite easy, though it requires several steps.

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For starters, you need an account on the LaptopLock website. Signing up is entirely free, and doesn’t even require activation.

In the online control panel, you can add one or more systems. Simply enter a name for easy identification, and hit the button. That computer will then be added to the database, and linked with a unique Computer ID.

Next, on your laptop, download and install the LaptopLock agent software.
We can now link our laptop to our online account. Upon starting the agent, you’ll be required to enter your Account Email, which you used to sign up, and the Computer ID.

You can choose whether to enter a password for accessing the software. This will also trigger any set actions if the system goes too long without an internet connection, and the user fails to provide the password. However, using this will cut back on the stealth as well, and might warn the thieves into taking additional precautions.

Configuring Security Plans

In the Security tab, you can configure and manage your plan of action. This basically says what needs be done in case of theft.

The available options include the deleting and encrypting of set data, showing a notification to the user – perhaps with a possible reward – or launching an external application.

All encrypted files can be recovered afterwards, in Security – Recovery Options.

Signaling Theft and Tracking

Back in the online control panel, signaling laptop theft is as easy as hitting the button. Your security plan will be carried out as soon as the stolen system connects to the internet.

Check Information shows the last ten locations of your laptop on a map. This probably isn’t as accurate as a GPS, but it will help the police in any investigation.

LaptopLock can help you in case your laptop gets stolen. Got any other tips? Share them below!

  1. Araxhiel Khy
    January 9, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    What about when the thief is a smart thief and he decide to format the laptop? There are something that continue working after that? (or at least that the system refuses to cooperate with any action attempted by the thief in question (even not allowed to format the hard disk))

  2. Data Security
    October 19, 2009 at 10:54 am

    The GPS-type feature that allows police to track the laptop's last ten locations is simply lovely. If only they could make it more precise to work like an actual GPS, then you could always feel that your laptop has all of its data protected, even in the most public settings. All I can say is that I can now feel comfortable leaving my laptop unattended when I order my latte at Starbucks.

  3. Laptop Locks
    October 11, 2009 at 12:43 am

    If you could combine this software, with a real laptoplocker.net you would really be protected for good.

  4. zee
    May 7, 2009 at 6:48 am

    I need a solution that can protect een against formatting of the HDD. Isn't there an application that can set apart and hide a section of the HDD and keep information in there to be used to protect & track the laptop?

  5. Geek
    April 1, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks for the tip Simon. Specially with the increase of stolen laptop in my city, this can help.

    - Khoi

  6. Simon Slangen
    April 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Hi Tom, Filip,

    Thanks for the tip, looks good - I'll be sure to check it out!

  7. jollyrogue
    March 31, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    it's all good but they don't exactly help if the thief just formats the hard drive :P

    • zed
      March 31, 2009 at 1:45 pm

      if you set a bios password and turn off the boot options for anything but HD that will not be a problem. Sure the thief can remove the cmos battery, but chances are they are not that smart

  8. Al
    March 31, 2009 at 10:06 am

    This is a great idea! I plan to try it right away! Do you know of any system that combines an application like this with a piece of hardware, like something that goes in a USB port, so that if the computer is stolen without the hardware, the computer won't accept a password?
    Thanks for all the info on this website. It's great!

  9. Filip
    March 31, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Hi Simon,

    Full disclosure (from a fellow countryman), I work for nomadesk.com. We have integrated a similar service in NomaDesk. Check out: nomadesk.com/theftguard

    F.

  10. Tom Dupon
    March 31, 2009 at 11:33 am

    NomaDesk has got this feature already built - it's called TheftGuard. Besides data protection, NomaDesk also offers file sharing and synchronization. Feel free to try it on NomaDesk.com.
    I appreciate your feedback.
    Tom Dupon - online marketing manager NomaDesk

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