I’ve found a couple of good utilities that can help you improve the security and safety of your laptop while you’re on the road (and one of them will help around the office, too).
Hands off, bud
The first one isn’t free after the trial period, but it’s pretty useful. It’s called Laptop Alarm, and it’s from Syfer in The Netherlands. Once you’ve installed (sorry Mac – it’s Windows only) and activated it, Laptop Alarm sits there quietly until someone does something to change the state of your laptop, such as unplugging the power cable; removing the mouse or another USB peripheral; or shuts down the laptop.
When one of the offending events occurs, it make a loud noise to alert you that someone’s messing with your laptop. This can be handy in an airport lounge, library, or other venue such as that where you may need to walk off for a few minutes to get something. [BTW – a laptop cable lock might be a good idea if you do that a lot]
You can download a free, fully-functional trial version if you’d like. The full version is 10 Euros.
The next one is pretty cool. It’s called BtProx and it’s a free utility that can automatically lock your laptop (yep, Windows only again) when you walk away. This is handy if you often forget to lock your computer when you walk away for a meeting (by the way, the shortcut <Windows Key>+L will do it quick if you remember).
How does BtProx do its magic? Well, it uses Bluetooth (which means both your phone and your laptop must support Bluetooth for this to work). When your computer loses contact with your phone via Bluetooth, BtProx locks the system for you after a preset time. Pretty cool.
As an added bonus, you can configure BtProx to automatically launch a specified application when it locks the system. That could be handy if you combined it with other security programs (such as Laptop Alarm) or wanted to trigger a backup or antivirus scan when you are away from your computer.
So, laptop users – check them out and let me know what you think.