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Methods for security a laptop (theft)

Posted on 2006-05-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
i am looking for suggestions for securing a laptop in the event of theft.  the suggestions need to be after-market (since we already have the laptops ... it can't be something that has to be installed when the laptop is being manufactured).

i have read of a device that wipes the drive in-case of a laptop theft and the computer is turned on without a key.  to me, this is an extreme measure and not something i'd be totally comfortable using.  it seems like it poses a threat even if the laptop isn't stolen (malfunction, key is lost, key stops working, etc).

so i'm wondering about devices that might allow the laptop to be tracked...like GPS or some method to re-locate a laptop in case it's stolen.  these kinds of suggestions seem less of a threat to me.

i am open to hearing suggestions that would prevent a laptop from working IF they are fail-safe and proven methods.  i would also like to hear of methods for tracking stolen laptops.  please include prices, or links that give prices, so i can estimate the feasibility.

Question by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
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Accepted Solution

jhance earned 336 total points
ID: 16769850
Have you looked into this:

LVL 11

Assisted Solution

prueconsulting earned 332 total points
ID: 16770680
We used to use a product called Protect that did full drive encryption and was hooked into the Windows 2000 Kernel , it did encrypt / decrypt on the fly so the users didnt notice anything other than requiring a passphrase to boot the PC up.
 Worked really well ..

If I am not mistaken its current life is as PointSec

Assisted Solution

BennyM82 earned 332 total points
ID: 16774705
Store your data/email at a cheap/fast service like Fastmail www.fastmail.com.au (they have wordwide sites but eg).

They give you online storage for all of your files etc, and your emails are never actually stored on the laptop using IMAP.
The best thing to do is ensure that if the laptop is taken that no files that are secure are on there, just leave the less important ones.

I am basically in the position that any PC/Laptop I own could be taken without me risking sensitive data getting out.

All laptops now days have a small hole for a laptop lock (like a bike chain) which is also useful in some situations.

Hope this helps
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by:Tim Holman
Tim Holman earned 332 total points
ID: 16779749
Would recommend HDD encryption, such as:


This means, that without the key and password, HDD contents cannot be retrieved.

Maybe something like www.stuffback.com could also help

www.stolenlaptop.com has a good guide about what else you can do

Assisted Solution

hack-4-good earned 336 total points
ID: 16781813
get cable locks for laptops if they dont move much, $15 at compusa...

get lojack for laptops as the first post said... they can at least get the thief arrested, usually...  but it wont work if they remove the hard drive and connect it as a slave to something else.

whole hard drive encryption is your best solution here.  purchasing laptops that support this in BIOS is your cheapest solution...  although that is not after-market, it is a really, really good solution as you would have to be the NSA in order to decrypt that.

else, if you must have aftermarket, check out DriveCrypt (Plus Pack) from www.securstar.com  (note there is no E in securstar there)

both the bios level and drivecrypt will render the data 100% safe (cant be decrypted without the password/passphrase), even if slaved off to another machine... and will render the hard drive useless to a thief.  they could obviously go buy a new hard drive and use the machine itself, but they cannot get your data.

tracking with lojack is good, but it requires the thief to A. boot up the machine with your hard drive, and B. be connected to the internet.  any decent laptop thief will never do that anyway, they'll slave your drive, peruse your data, format your drive, install some OS, and sell it / keep it.  you can only make sure they cant get your data.


Assisted Solution

charan_jeetsingh earned 332 total points
ID: 16784089

i beleive u can try this also: www.safeboot.com...

that is what my organisation has finally settled with after a lots of tests.

Charanjeet Singh

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