Monday, May 5, 2008

Stop theives from stealing your laptop (or at least make them think twice)

Today I came across this summary products that PC World recommends to prevent laptop thefts. Some products overlap, but all have been proven devices when keeping your laptop in your possession. It covers devices such as locks, motion-sensors, tracking tags, and lojack-like software to locate a stolen laptop. Reading about the lojack-like software that reminded me of a story I read of a MacBook that was taken awhile back and it caused the built-in webcam to take pictures while in use. Well, the pictures were of the thief sitting on the toilet, so I don't know if I'd want it back afterwards, but it was proof that this software does work.

Another good source that I found was put out by Microsoft. Some of the information was pretty basic, but one that stuck out was the encryption of your data. Of course they recommend their products for encryption, but myself and prefer the free, open-source TrueCrypt (a very nice encryption program). To take your personal data encryption even a step further, check out the IronKey USB stick. It's pricey for the size of data it holds, but it's mil-spec ruggedness makes it stand alone on the market. That's not even to mention the fact that all data is encrypted and after entering 10 wrong passwords (you can reset the count via a web interface and answering some questions you set) the chip self-destructs...very Mission Impossible-like.

That's just a few of the options that are available, but they are some of the best and easiest to implement.