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by Nanea Kalani, Business editor

 

In 2004, more than 600,000 laptop thefts occurred in the United States, according to Safeware Insurance, a company that insures electronics. And the average annual financial loss resulting from a laptop theft is $89,000, according to findings by an FBI Computer Crime and Security survey in 2005.

Therefore, numerous companies offer protection to laptop owners with security products such as anti-theft tags, steel cable locks, and laptop lockers.

Stealth Signal, a Houston-based company, offers security in the form of tracking software for laptops.

“ Stealth Signal supplies a software security tool that sits deep inside the computer’s memory and sending out a distress call every time a stolen computer is logged onto the Internet,” according to stealthsignal.com.

Once installed, Stealth Signal’s XTool Computer Tracker secretly sends a signal to the company’s control center, via telephone or Internet connection, every time a user reboots the computer, logs the computer off and back on, and changes the IP address (a computer’s unique numeric ID), according to the Web site. The software-based transmitter allows a recovery team to track the laptop’s location if and when it is reported lost or stolen.

Another feature of Stealth Signal’s security tracker allows users to delete files remotely. To use this feature, a user notifies the company which files should be deleted, and the next time the computer sends a signal, the computer receives a deletion instruction.

Stealth Signal’s tracking services are offered in yearly subscriptions of $49.
HPU Assistant Professor of visual communication, L. Doug Ing, himself a victim of laptop theft, recommends Stealth Signal.

A few years ago, after purchasing a new laptop, Ing dismissed advice to acquire laptop security. “I looked into it but thought that no one would ever steal my laptop,” said Ing. “Sixteen months later, I entered my Harlem (New York City) apartment…and saw that my laptop was missing.”

After being reunited with his laptop by some suspicious means (he was approached by a man who required $300 to “retrieve” the laptop), Ing came across Stealth Signal’s Web site through an Internet search.

Although Ing has never had to use Stealth Signal’s tracking services, he believes the company’s technology is reliable. “It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind,” Ing said.

For more information and/or to purchase, visit stealthsignal.com.
 

Fast Facts

600,000
laptop thefts occurred in the U.S. in 2004.

$89,000
is the average annual financial loss resulting from a laptop theft.

$49.00
gets you a yearly subscription to Stealth Signal’s anti-theft tracking software.

Stealth Signal’s Web site:
StealthSignal.com

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