Locate, lock and recover your stolen laptop with Norton Anti-Theft

September 13, 2011 – 11:18 by in News Print Share No Comment

If you’re worried about losing your smartphone or tablet then there’s no shortage of services around which claim they can help you to protect it.

There’s not quite as much choice for laptop and PC owners, of course. But if you’re worried about thieves, help is at hand in the shape of a new Symantec web service, Norton Anti-Theft, just released in beta form.

If you’ve ever tried one of the mobile device location and recovery services then Symantec’s take will seem quite familiar. After creating a Norton Beta account, all you have to do is install the Anti-Theft client and leave it running on your system. And if your laptop is stolen, then logging in to the Anti-Theft website will provide all the recovery features you’d expect, as well as one or two you might not.

If your missing system has connected to the internet, for instance, then Anti-Theft will use Skyhook’s technology to try and identify its location and plot this on a map. (The service has only been officially launched in the US, but in theory at least should work elsewhere.)

A “Sneak peek” option will grab a frame from the system’s webcam, maybe allowing you to see where it is, or to identify the thief.

The ability to remotely lock your system should prevent anyone from browsing through your files.

And Anti-Theft is able to display a custom message on the system, maybe providing your phone number, offering a reward, or whatever else you think might help to get it back.

This is all very simple to use. The Anti-Theft client software is compact, with no configuration options at all; the core website is also very straightforward; and despite the beta tag, for the most it looks and feels very “finished”.

When the beta is over and Symantec adds support for smartphones and tablets, then, Norton Anti-Theft could be a very useful system. Of course at that point it’ll probably also start to cost you a fair amount of money, too, so if you’d like to sample what the service has to offer at no charge, then give the beta a try. The client is available now.

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