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Beginners Guides: Preventing Data Theft from a Stolen Laptop

Beginners Guides: Preventing Data Theft from a Stolen Laptop - PCSTATS
Abstract: And, if that doesn't work, at least you can protect your data better than you did that brand new notebook. Harsh words, but sound advice.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCstats Sep 08 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCstats

Laptop tracing software

To provide an even better chance of having your laptop returned, you can purchase a laptop tracing software package. Most products of this nature work by periodically and stealthily sending out signals to an Internet server run by the manufacturer. When your laptop is stolen, report the theft to the maker of the software. If the new owner connects to the Internet, the company will know, and they will provide tracking information to the police.

Some tracking software provides further options, such as the ability to delete selected data once the laptop has been reported as stolen. Most of these software packages are difficult to detect and remove, and some claim to be able to survive re-partitioning and reformatting of the hard drive. Of course, if the hard drive is removed, so is the tracing software.

Most of these services work on a yearly subscription basis, due to the fact that the service is more essential than the software.

Popular tracking software packages include:

ZTrace ( http://www.ztrace.com/zTraceGold.asp)
Computrace (
http://www.computrace.com/public/products/computraceplus/default.asp)
Cyberangel (
http://www.sentryinc.com/ca-track.html)

Common sense and the Pizza Box

Don't leave your laptop alone. Not in your car, not in your trunk, not in your hotel room, not anywhere while traveling. Record the serial number, along with any other identifying marks or characteristics that you can provide to police. Use a plain carrying case or backpack whenever possible, as this will dramatically reduce the risk of theft. If you travel with an ultra subnotebook, try putting it in a 8.5" x 11" envelope - to distant eyes it will just look like a bundle of paper.

If you're in the habit of leaving your brand new and exceptionally shiny Titanium frame notebook around the house when you aren't there, keep in mind that a potential thief sneaking a peek through the windows may be more inspired to break in if they see a notebook sitting out in plain view on the coffee table. While you may have paid over $2300 for that notebook, the thief will be quite happy selling it for a measly $500.... talk about adding insult to injury!

For those of you who insist on leaving your notebooks on coffee tables or out in the open anyway, there is one trick which can give your notebook a bit of stealthy protection. I can't claim originality on the Pizza Box laptop case, but since I can't remember where I first saw this you'll have to improvise, and all it will cost you is a medium pizza from the local delivery guy. It's best to order the least grease-ladden pizza you can, because once you finish your lunch you'll be using that box for another purpose.

All you need to do once the food's gone is clean out the crumbs, bits of pepperoni, and whatever else remains. If there are odd grease spots here and there you can get away with gluing down a piece of cardboard to line the inside of the Pizza Box. If things are messy perhaps it's better to order the Veggie deluxe and try again. When the Pizza Box is all cleaned out, just make sure your notebook will fit inside. If it doesn't, order a larger pizza and repeat the above steps.

The basic idea behind the Pizza Box laptop case, if you haven't already guessed it, is to store your fancy notebook in the Pizza Box when you're not around. This way, you can leave your notebook out on the coffee table, or pretty much anywhere in your house and no one will be the wiser that your uber expensive notebook lies inside. Sure you may look like a bit of a slob for having that same Pizza Box on your coffee table for 6 months, but then again, if people are noticing that they certainly aren't noticing your notebook inside are they?

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Contents of Article: PCstats
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Preventing Data Theft from a Stolen Laptop
 Pg 2.  Biometric security
 Pg 3.  — Laptop tracing software
 Pg 4.  Protecting your data in the event of theft
 Pg 5.  Password Tips and Encrypt Vital Data
 Pg 6.  How to encrypt files in Windows XP
 Pg 7.  Creating a Recovery Agent
 Pg 8.  Exporting a data recovery certificate

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