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Sunday, August 28, 2005
  blackhole- Oh, bring back my Blackberry to me
Recently, the New York police reported that a recent increase in subway crime was primarily attributable to thefts of portable devices, largely music players. But the phenomenon is not limited to the subway, and is not always reflected in crime statistics.

Indeed, only 6.7% of owners recovered stolen handheld computers, laptops or smartphone (cellphone organisers that are often connected to the Internet), according to a 2004 study by Brigadoon Software, which makes programs that help track and recover stolen devices. FBI statistics indicate that only 3% of stolen laptops are recovered.

Homeowners and renters’ insurance usually covers there items, but deductibles – typically US$500 to US$1000 – are generally more than the cost or the gadgets.

There is also Safeware (, a company offering theft and damage insurance for computers and smaller gadgets. In New York, a US$2000 laptop can be insured for US$64 a year and a music player for US$52, both with no deductible.

A good option for cellphones and smartphones is coverage from the carriers, for about US$5 a month on top of the service fee.

Customers without insurance who need new phones are often surprised at what they cost. To sell service contracts, carriers offer phones at a sizable discount, but replacing then can be cost hundreds of dollars.

Stolen items move quickly, with the help of the Internet. Property can be sold in online auctions or bazaars trough unmonitored transactions. Stolen computers can fetch as much as US$800 and used iPoss may be listed for upward US$ 200, cellphones are sold as little as US$35 “unlocked” meaning they can be programmed with a new number and carrier.

Call track-and-recover software, the technology assumes that the stolen machine will eventually he hooked up to the Internet, and once online it is programmed to send a signal indicating its Internet Protocol address. That may allow thief to be traced through an Internet service provider.

It’s hell to call your customers and tell them their personal information has been compromised.

Trust Digital and similar companies produce software that protects information on laptops and devices like smartphones by either encrypting the data, locking the device or remotely wiping out everything on it. It is the information that needs protection.
Caution, of course, can be the best protection against theft. But many owners of portable gadgets feel that much of their appeal is taking them everywhere, with little thought.

Some co
mputer finders and their fees

These are among the “track and recover” services that can help retrieve a lost of stolen computer.


The computer reports it location to the service every time it is connected to the Internet. The company guarantees that if it does not recover your lost computer within 30 days, it will reimburse up to US$1000 of its cost.
Price: US$49.99 a year for a personal computer.

Stealth Signal

The software can find lost computers around the world and delete files remotely. The system cannot be detected by antivirus programs and can bypass 90% of all corporate and personal firewalls
Price: US$ 49 a year for a personal computer, discounts for additional years or computers.


If a user enters the wrong password a few times, the software sends a signal once it is connected to the Internet It blocks access to your remote network server or online accounts and forbids data transfer from that computer to another device.
Price: US$59.95 a year for a PC, discounts for additional years or computers.

PC PhoneHome

If stolen, the computer sends a message to a predetermined e-mail address. The owner notifies the police and PC PhomeHome’s tracking service providers tracking and recovery support.
Price: US$29.95 for the life of the computer. MacPhoneHome is a comparable programs for Macintosh computers.


From SyNET, nTracker software sends a message with the computer’s location to an e-mail address set by its owner. The user then must enlist law enforcement to help track it down.
Price: US$49.99, for a licence to use the software in one computer

Users are advised to check first as not all these services may be in your country.

-it is the information that needs protection-

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