Remote connectivity firm LogMeIn is to launch a 'data shredding' service for stolen and lost laptops.
Users will have the option to select files, folders or the entire contents of the hard drive to be wiped clean after the machine has been idle for a specified time, or after it has received an alert posted to LogMeIn.com.
If a computer goes missing, users can activate the shredding feature so that the selected files are completely removed when the computer next goes online.
Or, if the user chooses, data can be removed from a computer which has not been online for a preset period.
Other LogMeIn services already provide a 'homing beacon' service whereby the owner of a stolen laptop will be alerted when it goes online.
In the US, several stolen laptops have been recovered and the thieves apprehended, according to LogMeIn chief executive Mike Simons.
A number of high-profile laptop thefts in the US recently, most notably those suffered by the Department of Veteran Affairs last month, have highlighted the need for data security on portable devices.
LogMeIn will also make the online history of laptops available under the My Computer drop-down menu when users are logged-on to LogMeIn.
From there, they can monitor where and when their laptop or computer has been in use over a period of time.
The Instant Shredder feature will enable customers to determine what level of shredding they require, from assured destruction to recoverable encryption, said Simons.
The service will be available from LogMeIn's website later in the year. Prices have not been set, but most LogMeIn's services range from free to $12.95 a month.
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