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Wildlife

Tips to Protect Your Laptop from Thieves

By Giordano Ciampini

Proper preparations prevent poor performance, and keeping tabs on your coveted PC or Mac laptop, and the information inside it, should be at the top of the list of preparations whether here in Costa Rica or abroad.

Break-ins and general larceny are among the most common of crimes in Costa Rica, and laptops are an especially coveted item to pilfer from unsuspecting travellers and unwary residents.

“Laptops are very common to be taken during break-ins to vehicles and homes,” said the chief of Nicoya's OIJ, Luis Eduardo Jimenez Ruiz. “But how many exactly in the last year would be difficult to say.”

  Photo illustration by Giordano Ciampini

Security companies have started offering pre-theft solutions to combat the growing trend in computer theft. Most anti-theft software solutions are trackers; Using the GPS or WiFi connection on your computer to pinpoint the location of your hardware using tools like Google Maps, and the results can be extremely useful to police services during their investigations.

The idea is fairly simple: You install the software, which runs in the background silently, waiting like a vulture for it's prey. A thief makes the grab, and takes off with all your work and personal life inside your computer. You then contact the company through a designated web-page from an internet café or friend house, input your username, password, and declare the computer stolen.

Within seconds from that person opening the laptop around a WiFi signal, a data packet is sent through to the company website, courtesy of the program you've installed previously. The company's software tracks the laptop to a nearby community and sends the data to your email, which you would forward to the local police, who then would recover your stolen property and/or make an arrest if there's enough evidence to do so.

Several products offer additional services like BIOS installations, which store the installation and registration information inside the mainboard (logic board for all you Mac enthusiasts) so that if your hard drive gets yanked out, the software and it's valuable tracking capability reinstalls on the new hard drive, others offer spy cameras to catch the thief in action, remote computer lock-up, data encryption, and even IP address locations to find out names and addresses where your stolen property ends up.

The options can range from free for a single computer to $400 per year to secure up to 300 laptop computers for enterprise customers. For any further information on any of these products or services, please consult their respective websites. Just like a fingerprint used to catch a thief, every person, computer, and their individual solutions will be different.

Absolute Computrace Lojackwww.absolute.com
(Standard) 39.99/year (Premium) 59.99/year
Included benefits: Remote data wipe, computer lock, recovery service, up to $1000 guarantee, BIOS install.
Premium benefits: Location history.

Brigadoon PCPhoneHome/MacPhoneHomehttp://www.pcphonehome.com/
29.99 one-time price
Included benefits: Recovery service

Hidden hiddenapp.com
15.00/year per computer, 45.00/year up to 5 computers
Included benefits: Google Maps tracking, screenshots of computer in-use, spy camera.

Preypreyproject.com
(Standard) Free (PreyPro) 54.00/year up to 3 computers
Included benefits: keyring for passwords, WiFi autoconnect, hardware/software remote scan to monitor changes, GPS/WiFi tracking, Spy Camera, Screenshots of computer in-use, computer lock-down.
Premium benefits: Active mode, 100 reports per monitored device, fast data request intervals, full SSL encryption of transmitted data.

Snuko Anti-Theft (Win/Mac) – www.snuko.com
(Standard) Free (Premium) 29.99/year per computer
Included benefits: Screen lock, finder contact details, WiFi Autoconnect, Data encryption, Screenshots of computer-in-use, spy camera, IP address locator, google maps recovery.

 

More Regional News

Legislators Negotiate Consensus for Coastal Territories Law Project
Law Would Not Include Protected Areas Except for Ostional Refuge

Representatives from the Citizen Action (PAC) and Ample Front (FA) parties debated various changes to the Coastal Territories Law, known as Tecocos, to gain a consensus with the legislators from the other factions.

Nicoya Doctors Protest Against On Duty and Shift Cuts

Nicoya’s medical center is taking steps to reduce costs and the emergency department was the first to be affected. There, medical work-hours and calls have been cut back during weekends and holidays, as is confirmed in a statement sent by hospital director, Juan José Li Kam, and signed by 22 physicians.

New Liquor Law with ¢180.000 Fine For Drinking In The Street

We've seen them at the topes, the parades, in the beach towns, coming out of a bar, all with a beer or drink in hand, a practice that many in Costa Rica have taken as custom.

El Niño Strikes Again, Causing High Tides and One of the Driest “Rainy” Seasons Ever

This is rainy season? Feels like summer! And although the sunny days are a delight, it automatically raises concerns about the months to come: will crops get enough water? Will there be enough water in the wells to supply homes and businesses throughout the real dry season?

Despite Efforts to Help the Elderly, Abuses Continue

La region of the Peninsula of Nicoya stands out for having the largest number of longest-living inhabitants in the entire country, and during the annexation celebrations on July 25th, nine of the oldest adults in the canton, five of whom are more than 100, received recognition from President Chinchilla.

Santo Domingo ASADA is Low on Water and Overdue for Elections
– Family Denounces ASADA for Not Granting Water Access
– PanAmerican Woods In Process of Donating Well Rights to the Town

In the mountains above Samara, the Santo Domingo ASADA (Water Administration Association) has been facing the challenge of how to administer water to approximately 150 inhabitants when the town’s one water source is insufficient, prompting the Diaz family to denounce the ASADA and turning the spotlight on PanAmerican Woods. 

Pictures and News of the Month

The Voice of Nosara brings you a brief recap of July stories you might have missed.

Nicoya Municipality Ranks 65th Nationally
– Nicoyan Mayor Affirms that Rating Doesn’t Reflect Reality
– Councilmember Acknowledges Room for Improvement

The Municipality of Nicoya dropped from 55th place nationally in 2010 to 65th place in 2011 in the results of the Municipal Management Index (IGM), which evaluates the management performed by a total of 88 local governments during the year.

Controller Won’t Penalize Nicoyan Auditor for Alleged Tax Evasion
Comptroller’s Organ Affirms that Proceeding Didn’t Meet Current Regulations

The Controller General of the Republic decided not to penalize the current auditor of the Municipality of Nicoya, Gilberto Lizano Elizondo, for alleged tax evasion as it was determined that the disciplinary proceeding didn’t fulfill the requirements of due process. 

Poor Families Finally Have Homes in Santa Martha

Sixteen years after the land was bought, six houses have finally been built for poor families in Santa Martha and paperwork is in process for four to six more houses. 

Robbery Rises in Nicoya Canton While Decreasing in San Jose

“In the last two years, Costa Rica was the only Latin American country that reduced the crime indexes,” the Presidential House posted on Facebook on Friday, July 20th.  

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