Laptop & Lojack

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Joe J, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Joe J

    Joe J Guest

    Just looking for some opinions. I got Lojack free for 1 year when I bought
    my first laptop and now it is expiring soon. They are offering me a renewal
    for $31.99 per year, a 20% discount.
    I'm retired and the only time the laptop leaves the house is for vacations
    5x per year. We use it to watch movies on the plane and check email. My
    main computer is my desktop so there is nothing on the laptop that isn't
    replaceable.
    My opinion is I don't need it but I thought I'd get some other
    viewpoints-maybe.
    Joe
    Joe J, Jan 10, 2011
    #1
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  2. Joe J

    VanguardLH Guest

    Joe J wrote:

    > Just looking for some opinions. I got Lojack free for 1 year when I bought
    > my first laptop and now it is expiring soon. They are offering me a renewal
    > for $31.99 per year, a 20% discount.
    > I'm retired and the only time the laptop leaves the house is for vacations
    > 5x per year. We use it to watch movies on the plane and check email. My
    > main computer is my desktop so there is nothing on the laptop that isn't
    > replaceable.
    > My opinion is I don't need it but I thought I'd get some other
    > viewpoints-maybe.
    > Joe


    Once your laptop gets stolen, do you really want it back in whatever
    condition it might be in? Are you really going to wait for its recovery
    and eventual return to you? If it gets recovered, it probably will be
    evidence which means you won't be getting it back anytime soon. You
    don't have it covered by your insurance? What's the deductible? Is
    both hardware AND software (not data, just apps) covered? Once stolen
    you can immediately submit a claim. Once the claim is paid and should
    the laptop get recovered, it'll be the property of the insurance
    company. Let them deal with the battered item.

    If your only concern is that the thief cannot get at your data (credit
    card numbers, social security number, bank account numbers, etc) then
    why not consider something free that encrypts your data or encrypts the
    partitions on your hard disks? TrueCrypt is free. It can create
    encrypted containers that look like drives in which you can store your
    data files. It can also be used to encrypt an entire partition. You
    must enter a password to access the encrypted container or partition.

    You might want to ask in the alt.comp.freeware group for what whole-disk
    encryption schemes are available and are free. In fact, some laptops
    already have this capability to lockout or encrypt partitions on hard
    disks but you didn't mention which one you have (I know some of the IBMs
    have the chip and hardware support for drive encryption).

    If the thief only wants your hardware, they'll wipe the hard disks and
    install whatever OS and apps they want. All that money spent in
    software-based tracking of your laptop will be erased. For those
    tracking products that add code into the BIOS, well, thieves can flash
    the BIOS just as well as you can. They'll do the wipe BEFORE they ever
    connect to a network. If the thief wants your data, tracking software
    doesn't protect you. After all, the software on the hard drives or in
    the BIOS can only work when it is running. Nothing prevents the thief
    from taking out your hard disks and slaving them to another host where
    all files and sectors are merely read and never executed.

    What good is knowing where is your laptop and someday after law
    enforcement gets done with it as evidence then getting back if in the
    meantime your credit card or bank accounts have been misused? Even if
    you remotely locked up your laptop after it was stolen (something you
    can only hope will work), that does nothing to prevent the thief from
    wiping your laptop and still using the hardware.

    They promise to recover your stolen computer. How long after it gets
    recovered will YOU actually get the computer returned to you? They are
    not legal law enforcement agents. They'll have to plea with police to
    recover your laptop. If the police do recover it, you think they're not
    going to use it as evidence against the defendent? You think the police
    are just going to walk into someone's home, grab your laptop, and walk
    away without doing anything to the person from whom they took the
    laptop? You'll notice that their recovery guarantee - which is
    available ONLY with their *premium* (expensive) service and only covers
    up to $1000 - doesn't specify WHEN you get back your computer, or what
    condition it will be in, and nothing about protecting your data.

    For the $59 they charge for their premium service that provides some
    guarantee that you get some value back for your stolen laptop, you sure
    you couldn't find an insurer that would charge that, or less, to cover
    your laptop (hardware and software)? For that price per year, you might
    even be able to include a replacement value clause where you get full
    price for the stolen item instead of some pro-rated depreciated value.
    With the insurance, you collect now and get a new laptop now. With
    tracking, you have to wait until (and *if*) your stolen laptop phones
    home and then wait for the tracking company to work with police to
    retrieve the laptop and then wait until that laptop is no longer
    considered evidence and get it back in whatever condition it was left by
    the thief and handling by the police, shippers, and tracking service.

    So just how expensive is this laptop that you would bother with all of
    that to attempt to recover it? Are you going to pay the premium service
    price to have some guarantee rather than "they'll try"? Also, did you
    ask them just WHERE are their "theft recovery territories"? They will
    not be able to recover stolen laptops from some countries.

    So isn't your desktop computer covered by your insurance? Doesn't sound
    like you have lojack on your desktop. Well, what are you going to do
    when your house get burglarized? Why would you protect your laptop but
    not protect your desktop? It only takes one burglary to let your
    realize just how vulnerable you are. You feel safe now but you'll feel
    violated later when your household possessions disappear. So, if you
    have insurance on your desktop, why isn't your laptop included?

    If you are really using your laptop, are you going to wait the months it
    takes for recovery into your very hands of the stolen laptop? Or might
    you end up replacing that laptop long before then?
    VanguardLH, Jan 10, 2011
    #2
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  3. "Joe J" <> wrote in message
    news:igfl9k$kb8$-september.org...
    > Just looking for some opinions. I got Lojack free for 1 year when I
    > bought my first laptop and now it is expiring soon. They are offering me
    > a renewal for $31.99 per year, a 20% discount.
    > I'm retired and the only time the laptop leaves the house is for vacations
    > 5x per year. We use it to watch movies on the plane and check email. My
    > main computer is my desktop so there is nothing on the laptop that isn't
    > replaceable.
    > My opinion is I don't need it but I thought I'd get some other
    > viewpoints-maybe.
    > Joe


    Will your life change if the computer goes missing?

    YES
    Buy another year.

    NO
    Let it go.
    Jeff Strickland, Jan 10, 2011
    #3
  4. "VanguardLH" <> wrote in message
    news:igfsnc$9dk$...
    > Joe J wrote:
    >
    >> Just looking for some opinions. I got Lojack free for 1 year when I
    >> bought
    >> my first laptop and now it is expiring soon. They are offering me a
    >> renewal
    >> for $31.99 per year, a 20% discount.
    >> I'm retired and the only time the laptop leaves the house is for
    >> vacations
    >> 5x per year. We use it to watch movies on the plane and check email. My
    >> main computer is my desktop so there is nothing on the laptop that isn't
    >> replaceable.
    >> My opinion is I don't need it but I thought I'd get some other
    >> viewpoints-maybe.
    >> Joe

    >
    > Once your laptop gets stolen, do you really want it back in whatever
    > condition it might be in? Are you really going to wait for its recovery
    > and eventual return to you? If it gets recovered, it probably will be
    > evidence which means you won't be getting it back anytime soon.


    If it has racy movies of the weekends at the convelescent home, its not
    coming back ever.
    Jeff Strickland, Jan 10, 2011
    #4
  5. Joe J

    Joe J Guest

    "VanguardLH" <> wrote in message
    news:igfsnc$9dk$...
    > Joe J wrote:
    >
    >> Just looking for some opinions. I got Lojack free for 1 year when I
    >> bought
    >> my first laptop and now it is expiring soon. They are offering me a
    >> renewal
    >> for $31.99 per year, a 20% discount.
    >> I'm retired and the only time the laptop leaves the house is for
    >> vacations
    >> 5x per year. We use it to watch movies on the plane and check email. My
    >> main computer is my desktop so there is nothing on the laptop that isn't
    >> replaceable.
    >> My opinion is I don't need it but I thought I'd get some other
    >> viewpoints-maybe.
    >> Joe

    >
    > Once your laptop gets stolen, do you really want it back in whatever
    > condition it might be in? Are you really going to wait for its recovery
    > and eventual return to you? If it gets recovered, it probably will be
    > evidence which means you won't be getting it back anytime soon. You
    > don't have it covered by your insurance? What's the deductible?


    Yes it's covered under my homeowner's insurance with a $250 deductible.
    Joe J, Jan 10, 2011
    #5
  6. Joe J

    VanguardLH Guest

    Joe J wrote:

    > "VanguardLH" <> wrote in message
    > news:igfsnc$9dk$...
    >> Joe J wrote:
    >>
    >>> Just looking for some opinions. I got Lojack free for 1 year when I
    >>> bought
    >>> my first laptop and now it is expiring soon. They are offering me a
    >>> renewal
    >>> for $31.99 per year, a 20% discount.
    >>> I'm retired and the only time the laptop leaves the house is for
    >>> vacations
    >>> 5x per year. We use it to watch movies on the plane and check email. My
    >>> main computer is my desktop so there is nothing on the laptop that isn't
    >>> replaceable.
    >>> My opinion is I don't need it but I thought I'd get some other
    >>> viewpoints-maybe.
    >>> Joe

    >>
    >> Once your laptop gets stolen, do you really want it back in whatever
    >> condition it might be in? Are you really going to wait for its recovery
    >> and eventual return to you? If it gets recovered, it probably will be
    >> evidence which means you won't be getting it back anytime soon. You
    >> don't have it covered by your insurance? What's the deductible?

    >
    > Yes it's covered under my homeowner's insurance with a $250 deductible.


    Consider if the $250 is worth the wait time from when your laptop is
    stolen, when you eventually get it back, and then you have to wipe it
    and do fresh installs (because obviously you won't trust anything on it
    anymore) versus the time to collect on the insurance and move forward
    with a replacement laptop. Recovery time for the LoJack service is
    somewhere up to around 6 months (I didn't read their service agreement
    that carefully) before you can collect up to the $1000 limit but ONLY if
    you buy into their more expensive Premium service plan.

    Since you're already covered by insurance (which is all what is LoJack)
    then just decide if you want to protect the files on your laptop by
    encrypting them. That could be a container in which you store files or
    by encrypting the partitions (often but mistakeningly called whole-disk
    encryption). Understand that any encryption whether on a file or on a
    partition will incur overhead and will impact the responsiveness of your
    computer. If it's reasonably new and fast hardware then the impact will
    be insigificant except for some processes (like video editing where file
    thrashing is likely to occur).

    Since you're already insured, and if you're concerned about the security
    of your private data (credit cards, bank accounts, passwords, etc)
    getting into the wrong hands then look at encryption. There are LOTS of
    free choices. TrueCrypt is just one of them. BestCrypt is another and
    often preferred because its interface is simpler (but then it has a
    smaller feature set); however, the free Traveller version of BestCrypt
    will not do partition encryption.
    VanguardLH, Jan 11, 2011
    #6
  7. Joe J

    Joe J Guest

    "VanguardLH" <> wrote in message
    news:igh777$353$...
    > Joe J wrote:
    >
    >> "VanguardLH" <> wrote in message
    >> news:igfsnc$9dk$...
    >>> Joe J wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Just looking for some opinions. I got Lojack free for 1 year when I
    >>>> bought
    >>>> my first laptop and now it is expiring soon. They are offering me a
    >>>> renewal
    >>>> for $31.99 per year, a 20% discount.
    >>>> I'm retired and the only time the laptop leaves the house is for
    >>>> vacations
    >>>> 5x per year. We use it to watch movies on the plane and check email.
    >>>> My
    >>>> main computer is my desktop so there is nothing on the laptop that
    >>>> isn't
    >>>> replaceable.
    >>>> My opinion is I don't need it but I thought I'd get some other
    >>>> viewpoints-maybe.
    >>>> Joe
    >>>
    >>> Once your laptop gets stolen, do you really want it back in whatever
    >>> condition it might be in? Are you really going to wait for its recovery
    >>> and eventual return to you? If it gets recovered, it probably will be
    >>> evidence which means you won't be getting it back anytime soon. You
    >>> don't have it covered by your insurance? What's the deductible?

    >>
    >> Yes it's covered under my homeowner's insurance with a $250 deductible.

    >
    > Consider if the $250 is worth the wait time from when your laptop is
    > stolen, when you eventually get it back, and then you have to wipe it
    > and do fresh installs (because obviously you won't trust anything on it
    > anymore) versus the time to collect on the insurance and move forward
    > with a replacement laptop. Recovery time for the LoJack service is
    > somewhere up to around 6 months (I didn't read their service agreement
    > that carefully) before you can collect up to the $1000 limit but ONLY if
    > you buy into their more expensive Premium service plan.
    >
    > Since you're already covered by insurance (which is all what is LoJack)
    > then just decide if you want to protect the files on your laptop by
    > encrypting them. That could be a container in which you store files or
    > by encrypting the partitions (often but mistakeningly called whole-disk
    > encryption). Understand that any encryption whether on a file or on a
    > partition will incur overhead and will impact the responsiveness of your
    > computer. If it's reasonably new and fast hardware then the impact will
    > be insigificant except for some processes (like video editing where file
    > thrashing is likely to occur).
    >
    > Since you're already insured, and if you're concerned about the security
    > of your private data (credit cards, bank accounts, passwords, etc)
    > getting into the wrong hands then look at encryption. There are LOTS of
    > free choices. TrueCrypt is just one of them. BestCrypt is another and
    > often preferred because its interface is simpler (but then it has a
    > smaller feature set); however, the free Traveller version of BestCrypt
    > will not do partition encryption.


    Thanks for taking the time. I appreciate your thoughts.
    Joe
    Joe J, Jan 11, 2011
    #7
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