Have you ever had your laptop stolen? Maybe you just left it in a stall at the airport bathroom by accident before boarding your flight. If yes, even if you have LoJack for Laptops or some other software installed, you know the panic that ensues because you know how many important (and confidential) files are on that laptop. The thoughts flooding back of each file is enough to make you want to jump from that plane! If you’re an author or designer, this is particularly nerve racking because you may have had an entire book or portfolio of work saved to your hard drive. You don’t want some thief having access to your private files or to just delete them so that they can sell it to another person.
Well, someone has finally come up with a solution to this issue for laptop users. Lenovo, a division of Thinkpad, has developed a new technology that can best be described as a Laptop Kill Switch. It is a chip that can be installed in your computer to protect it in the event of a theft. This killswitch is still in development.
How it Works
The laptop user will install a 3G cellular chip in their laptop which will automatically begin waiting for a command from the user to deactivate the laptop. You would send a text message that transmits a “kill signal” to the 3G cellular chip and immediately makes the laptop unusable. If someone is using the computer when the kill signal comes through, they will be met with a blank screen, a special message, or a screen asking for a password. The particulars are still being worked out for this Laptop Kill Switch.
When the Laptop Kill Switch is activated, the data on your laptop will not be destroyed; it will only become inaccessible. The thief will not be able to use the laptop or open your files. If by luck you are able to retrieve your laptop, using LoJack for Laptops or other means, you will be able to get your files back by entering your special password.
The obvious benefit of this great new technology is that you can keep your files confidential. Even if you are not able to retrieve them, at least you can have the peace of mind of knowing that the thief who took your laptop won’t be able to view or take your files from the computer.
It is also satisfying knowing that they will not be able to use the laptop, at least in some capacity. It is not clear just yet whether the Laptop Kill Switch will disable just the computer hard drive or the entire system. If just the hard drive, the thief would be able to buy a new hard drive and use or sell the computer. So it would be ideal to have the entire laptop rendered useless by the thief, even if the hard drive is replaced. We will just have to see.