Laptop locator on way to NZ

An Australian product that allows stolen laptops to be located will be introduced to New Zealand in October when Toshiba offers it as part of its Snap school computer package.

An Australian product that allows stolen laptops to be located will be introduced to New Zealand in October when Toshiba offers it as part of its Snap school computer package.

Sydney-based Business Security Systems, the maker of the product, StopWeb, is also negotiating with several large New Zealand companies interested in installing it on their laptops, says managing director Gilles Novell.

The system works by giving a laptop a serial number and recording it in a central database. “A lot of stolen equipment will be reconnected to the internet and StopWeb identifies it immediately,” says Novell.

Police notify BSS after a complaint from a user, and BBS then works with the police to locate the computer.

Novell says in 1999 7000 laptops and 2000 desktops were stolen in New South Wales and 75% of stolen computer equipment in the state are notebooks.

Corporate clients can buy StopWeb and its metal counterpart, StopPlate (which leaves a chemical imprint if removed), as a package called Stop-plus, Novell says. It costs about $A48 per unit for a minimum order of 500 units.

A major client in New South Wales is Telstra. Others include AMP and McKinsey and Co.

Business Security Systems also offers data and network encryption services.

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