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Data wiping protection mechanism comes to laptop

Techworld (opens in new tab) writes about a new data protection system that can automatically delete data on a computer which has been physically removed from a set location.

The solution, called Backstopp (opens in new tab), works as a hosted service which monitors a protected computer through the internet or using wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi or GSM).

Should the device (opens in new tab) be moved outside the reach of Backstopp, the system automatically wipes out important data on the device, laptop or desktop.

Backstopp also works on laptops which are switched on and also includes a feature that allows any laptop that comes with an inbuilt webcam feature to take photos of possible thieves and send them unaided.

The service offers administrators an 'at-a-glance' report of important data stored on the computer.

"There are millions of laptops out there that contain valuable data. The vast majority are not stolen for their data, but the ultimate recipient will often come across the data and use it for criminal purposes. This solution prevents that illicit use,” said Dean Bates, the CTO of Virtuity, the firm behind Backstopp.

The Software-as-a-service (opens in new tab) apparently uses RFID, IP addressing and GPS triangulation to keep track of your data whereabouts.

However, It introduces the thorny question of accidental removal as the data is securely deleted "using file deletion patterns detailed in the US Department of Defence’s National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (US DoD 5220-22.M), ensuring decommission data can not be retrieved."

Backstopp only costs £10 per computer.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.