Software Available to Track Stolen Laptop & Notebook Computers
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Laptop computers are popular with thieves. Offices. Schools. Homes. Anyplace the light portable laptop computers can be found, they are often targeted for theft. Business travellers have the added concern of keeping an eye on their laptop at airport security, in restaurants or in their hotel rooms. A number of software developers and computer manufacturers are working together to make it easier for vicitms of computer theft to retrieve their machines.

Absolute Software's CompuTrace is invisible tracking software that is installed on your laptop. This "agent" automatically transmits the machine's IP address and other identifying information to Absolute's Monitoring Center on a regular basis. To recover a stolen laptop, the owner reports it to Absolute which, like the LoJac product available for cars, begins to track the machine the next time it connects to the Internet. Absolute personnel use the information from the CompuTrace agent to discover the physical location of the machine, and work with local law enforcement to recover it. The CompuTraceagent is instructed to communicate its information to the Monitoring Center every 15 minutes until the machine is recovered. CompuTrace also offers the ability to remotely delete sensitive information from the laptop when the software communicates with the Monitoring Center. A one year license for CompuTrace costs $49.95.

zTrace Technologies' zTrace Gold offers a similar product/service for the same $49.95 price.

The best defense is still a vigilant eye...and a good lock or motion detector to keep the computer from disappearing in the first place.

For more information about computer privacy & security see: Protecting Your Privacy on the Internet

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