The value of critical data is much more than the price of the hardware. You cannot afford to lose personal data or critical information, or let it fall into the wrong hands. Hence, like they say, “Prevention is better than cure”. It’s best to take frequent backups and use a security suite. Also, unlike desktop PC users, laptop users face a further big risk of devices getting lost or stolen. To address this, Intel has introduced Anti-Theft Service. Here’s how it helps secure critical data in the event of the laptop being lost or stolen.
System requirements and installation
Intel AT will run on your laptop provided it meets the minimum system requirements, which includes Intel 6 or 7 series chipset, 1GB RAM, 100MB of drive space, Windows 7 or 8 operating system, a compatible browser and, being Internet dependent, a high speed Internet connection. To check whether Intel AT will be supported by your laptop, Intel has devised an application called Intel Anti-Theft Discovery App (2.53MB in size), which you start with when you download the software. If supported, it will prompt you to go ahead with the download and installation.
Intel AT will run on your laptop if it complies to these requirements
This app helps you find out if your laptop supports Intel AT
On proceeding with the download via the Anti-Theft Discovery App, you’re taken to McAfee’s website from where you can download the software (16MB in size). But before downloading, you need to have a McAfee account, which you can sign up for free. Immediately after installation, you’re prompted to set up the software. This involves specifying the anti-theft password (8-digit numeric) and your email address. There’s also a checkbox to enable tracking your device’s location if it’s lost or stolen. After configuration, you can access the software via an icon in the notification area of the task bar.
Details needed to lock down your device remotely
How it works
Intel Anti-Theft Service syncs the device status to your online account from time to time, or you can sync it manually. All the action lies in the Web Management Console accessible via the software or from the context menu that comes up when you right-click on the Intel AT service icon in the notification area. Being a webpage, it can be accessed from any Internet-enabled device with a web browser. The bottom of the page displays the location of the device courtesy Google Maps and location history—the location is traced using the IP address.
Location history via the web console
The big red button that says “Secure my device” comes to your rescue if your device is lost or stolen. There are two modes that you can choose from. The Steal mode will lock the important files and continue to track the device’s location. However, it won’t lock down the device. The Lockdown mode will immediately shut down and lock the device. Note that the thief will have to connect the laptop to the Internet for your command to work. It takes a few seconds for the command to get executed. The lockdown mode is equivalent to rendering your laptop bricked for the thief. When started after locking down, the laptop displays a lockdown message before POST, just a few seconds from when you press the power button. The correct anti-theft password (8-digit numeric) has to be entered to continue booting. Since the technology is tied to the hardware, bricking can’t be overridden even by changing the hard drive, reinstalling the operating system or flashing the BIOS.
The Settings page in the Web Management Console has an option to auto-lock the device if it’s disconnected from the Internet for a specified number of days (2 to 30). This can be disabled by enabling the Vacation mode. You can also enable the Repair shop mode, which keeps the device unlocked and secure when you leave it with someone.
Verdict and Price in India
Intel Anti-Theft Service is available as a 90-day trial for you to get a look and feel, after which you have to pay to subscribe—you can purchase a year’s subscription online for $24.99 (approx. Rs 1,360). Optionally, you can choose to go with other products such as Norton Anti-Theft and McAfee Anti-Theft that use Intel AT technology.
You can subscribe to the service at a reasonable price
Many laptop brands have already started offering models with Intel AT Service included in the package. So, look out for the Intel Anti-Theft Service logo on the laptop/packaging if you’re looking at value for money from the point of view of security.
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