updated 02:20 pm EDT, Wed May 6, 2009
Phoenix Bluetooth security
Phoenix Technologies on Wednesday announced users can now download its Phoenix Freeze security solution for notebooks and netbooks, which uses Bluetooth technology to gauge the proximity of a user to a portable computer. Freeze pairs a Bluetooth-enabled cellphone with the notebook and locks the computer when the phone reaches a certain distance to prevent anyone else from accessing its files. When users come back into a pre-set range, the notebook will unlock again.
Users can customize the proximity zone and power savings setting via a graphical user interface that makes the process easier. One Bluetooth cellphone can be made to control more than one notebook. In Windows XP and Vista, the operating system's password lock is activated when the paired Bluetooth handset is out of range but automatically unlocks without users having to type in the password when the phone comes back into range. Users can also configure their notebooks to turn off their screens when the phone is out of range, saving power in the process, or have their systems go into sleep mode, though waking them requires users pressing the resume button on their notebooks.
Although it doesn't support other operating systems, Freeze is also promised at a later date for Mac OS X as well as Windows 7.