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HiJack, LoJack, What's the Difference?

HiJack, LoJack,What's the Difference?
by Gary Woods

Getting a laptop stolen sucks. It happened to me in a parking lot in broad daylight and it took me quite a while to put everything back together again. Fortunately I didn't have anything on it that has come back to bite me, but it started me to thinking about what to do to protect myself.

The first thing I did was Password protect the BIOS. The BIOS is the Basic Input Output System of your computer. To do this you can as you computer boots hit ESC or F1 or F2 and sometimes Delete. It will tell you on the screen which one to use. Then once you're inside the BIOS go to the Password Section and put in a Password. Next, you can Password Protect your Operating System by going to Start, Control Panel, User Accounts then Change an Account. Make sure that use a different password from the one you used for the BIOS.

The next thing to do is Encrypt your important information. Encryption programs are available from more than a dozen vendors including Pointsec, Utimaco Software and SafeBoot.

Finally, there's a product from Absolute called LoJack for Laptops. This service silently sends message to recovery officers at the company. They are able to find out information about the person using the computer. According to Absolute they recover 90% of the stolen computers that log onto the Internet and contact its monitoring center. Recovery time is usually about 44 days.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc