Hi, I’m Joe Keehnast, product manager for Norton Anti-Theft, a new Beta service from Norton. Norton Anti-Theft is a new service that gives you a way to track the devices you have, protect the data they house, and get them back in the event that they are ever lost or stolen. Protecting users from the threat of physical device loss and theft is somewhat of a new area for us and we believe this new service is a great addition to our Norton Everywhere vision of protecting you and your data on any device.
So what can Norton Anti-Theft do for you?
Let’s say you have lost a computer or it has been stolen. Norton Anti-Theft gives you the power to log into a website and find out where the computer is, lock it, have the Web cam take pictures, and write a message that will be seen by whoever has the computer. We have found from talking to customers that these are the most sought after features they want when they have a lost or stolen device. So we have listened and this is what we are providing in the first release of this service. Check out this video to get a better understanding of how the product works.
How does Norton Anti-Theft work?
Norton Anti-Theft is a web-based service. That means that initiating commands like finding a device, locking it, or taking pictures with the Web cam are all completed from the Norton Anti-Theft website. Once you log into the site for the first time, you are asked to download a small piece of software or agent onto the computer you want to protect. This agent is what is used to communicate from the Web site to your computer. So, when you click Take a Picture on our Sneak Peek page, the Web site communicates with the agent on your computer and the agent will take the picture and send it back to the Web site. Here’s a more in depth look at some of the features in Norton Anti-Theft:
1) Find Device: We give you a map and show you where your device is currently located when you log in. This location will be updated every hour (or another frequency of your choice that you can set yourself) when your device is being tracked. When you have reported your computer lost, we will update this location every five minutes and you can see the trail of locations on the map.
2) Sneak Peek: On the Web site, you can take pictures from the Web cam on your device on demand through the Sneak Peek page. You might want to do this to check it out (it’s a pretty cool feature). The bigger impact is when you have reported the device lost. When the device is in lost mode, we automatically take pictures from the Web cam every 10 minutes and upload them to the Web site. You can store the last 10 pictures on the site and if you need to save them, you can just save them to your desktop.
3) Lock: When the device is reported lost, we ask you to lock the device. You supply an unlock code that you can use in case you find the device and want to unlock the device directly. You can also unlock the device by reporting it found on the Norton Anti-Theft Web site. The lock function gives you the ability to type a message that will be displayed to someone who finds it.
4) Report Lost: As you might understand from reading above, when you lose the device or it is stolen, you should report it lost. Doing so will immediately lock it, send the message you type to the computer so that the person who finds the device can read it, start taking pictures with the Web cam, and update you on its location more frequently so you can more accurately track its whereabouts.
The Norton Anti-Theft Beta supports PCs running Windows XP or later, but stay tuned for future platforms. We announced on Sept 7 that the Norton Anti-Theft functionality will be integrated into our upcoming Norton Tablet Security offering available in the next few weeks.
I look forward to seeing your feedback on Norton Anti-Theft Beta in the user forums or answering any questions in the comments of this post!