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Device Theft Recovery Solutions: Absolute Software

*Disclosure: Sponsored post

 

smartphone laptop theftSecurity of data and computer devices is one of the most important technology issues for families. One example that I have been exploring for some time now is technology that allows you to locate your phone after it has been lost or stolen. “Find my phone” apps are very handy to find a misplaced device in your house but not as effective a solution when it comes to theft. I read stories of people tracking down their own stolen devices, with some ambitious folks even some showing up at the thief’s house, a very dangerous plan.

 

 

Device theft continues to become more frequent, with regular stories in the news and social media of phones being stolen in public places or just grabbed out of people’s hands while they walk down the street. Thieves can now easily wipe smartphones clean and then sell them on the black market. More valuable than the phone itself is the personal data stored on our phones, especially now that many people use their devices for online payment and banking.

 

 

Smartphone Security InfoGraphic

 

 

That is why why I jumped at the chance to work with Absolute Software (disclosure *sponsored campaign*) and learn more about their device theft recovery solutions. The first step was receiving some press information about the solutions (which I shared below).  Absolute Software solutions enable device location tracking, locking it against unauthorized users and permanently erasing files from remote locations. The two product names are called Absolute Data Protect and Absolute LoJack.

 

Here’s some product information I summarized from the website and from press briefings:

 

Absolute Data Protect Product Features:

 

Locate

Locate your device (laptops, phones, and tablets) using GPS, Wi-Fi or IP geolocation giving you the tools to see the last location in the event that it goes missing.

 

Lock

Device Lock prevents anyone from accessing your personal information on laptops, phones, and tablets. You can also add a customized message to your device lock screen.

 

Delete

Activating the delete feature permanently erases files protecting your personal information and preventing identity theft.

 

Absolute LoJack product features:

 

Absolute LoJack Locates, Locks & Deletes then also offers recovery and guarantee:

Absolute LoJack

 

 

Recovery:

 

When a device is reported stolen, first to law enforcement and then on the user’s account (https://my.absolute.com/),  Absolute’s Investigation Team springs into action building a case and then presenting it to law enforcement. The Theft teams knows who to talk with in regards to Law Enforcement so it takes the pressure of of individuals trying to navigate the process on their own while also dealing with the emotions behind the loss. The website explained: “Absolute’s Investigations team is the only one of its kind in the security software industry. More than 30,000 stolen devices in 100 countries have been recovered through the efforts of the Investigations team and in conjunction with law enforcement worldwide. The team consists of former military servicemen, government intelligence personnel and law enforcement officers. They’re experts in Internet investigations, computer forensics and cyber-crime and are highly experienced in device tracking and recovery.

 

Guarantee:

 

Absolute LoJack also has a Service Guarantee to help pay for a replacement.

 

Here are some recovery stories: http://lojack.absolute.com/en/investigations-team/recovery-stories

 

Note: Theft reporting and recovery services are not available for the Absolute Data Protect product

 

 

System Requirements:

 

The Absolute LoJack website has a listing of current system PC/Mac and mobile system requirements.

 

Absolute persistence technology:

 

Devices that have Absolute persistance technology enabled get an extra level of security.  The website explained that “Absolute persistence technology is built into the BIOS or firmware of a device during the manufacturing process.” Once activated, customers who purchase these devices benefit from that extra level of security which wipes data from devices to factory settings and offers the ability to display message (this is a stolen computer). It even deletes down to file level.

 

 

To really understand what it would be like to go without my device and valuable data, I am taking the Absolute LoJack #DigitallyDark Challenge tomorrow (6/15 from 10am to 10pm!) and go without my devices (shriek of terror!).  Then when I am back online I will talk about what it was like to be without my devices. Even though many people backup their phone and computer data in the cloud, it’s still a big disruption to have your device stolen and I anticipate a very unsettling but educational day tomorrow.

 

 

What do you think about the dangers of device theft?

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All of my words are my own.

 

 

 

School Spying On Kids Through School Supplied Computer Webcams?

I saw this post on TechDirt yesterday – and could not believe the story was for real “School Accused Of Spying On Kids In Their Homes With Spyware That Secretly Activated Webcams“. Here is the scoop from the TechDirt article: “a school district outside of Philadelphia that apparently gave its students laptops that included hidden software that allowed district officials to secretly turn on the laptops’ webcams and monitor student activities, no matter where they were. This all came to light when a student was disciplined for “improper behavior in his home” with the evidence being a photo of the kid from his laptop webcam. The district is now being sued for this.”

Parents should ensure all family computers are spyware free by installing security software. But this article does make me think twice about letting my kids bring a school computer home.

CNET Download and Microsoft have download security centers with security software. Bitdefender and other companies have comprehensive security software packages.