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Lenovo Ups Laptop Security

Research Triangle Park, N.C. — Lenovo is offering a new remote security feature for ThinkPad notebook users.

The Lenovo Constant Secure Remote Disable feature lets users send a text message command via a cellphone to render their PC useless to unauthorized users when the notebook is lost or stolen, said the company.

To activate the feature, Lenovo said a user create a simple text message command such as “lockdown now PC” or “PC shut off” that can be used if the computer is stolen. Once stolen, the user sends the command and the PC’s onboard mobile broadband service will receive it and the computer will become inoperable, protecting the data inside. If the device is turned off when the user sends the command, the PC will automatically disable the next time it registers on the network.

Once the computer has been disabled, the user will receive a confirmation text message to let them know the process was a success. A disabled PC can’t be reactivated until the user enters a pre-set passcode created when the feature is first set up.

Lenovo said it worked with Phoenix Technologies to develop this capability.

“Remote Disable dramatically reduces the anxiety and waiting people often experience when they’ve been the victim of a lost or stolen notebook PC,” said Bob Galush, VP, software and peripherals marketing, Lenovo. “Through our work with Phoenix, we are able tp reduce customer’ security risks and potential exposure of their confidential data when their ThinkPad notebook is lost or stolen.”

The service, which the company said will be available in the first quarter of 2009 on select ThinkPad notebooks that are enabled for mobile broadband; it will be included in the price of the notebooks at no additional charge. The feature will be supported worldwide wherever cellular phone systems support text message transmission.