Whether or not your laptop contains sensitive information, having it stolen is obviously something that all of us want to avoid if possible. While there are ways to protect the contents on your laptop, there’s really not much that can be done after it has been stolen physically, but former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has a plan to help with that.


Snowden has recently launched an Android app called Haven that is meant to act as a security tool for your laptop to prevent it from being physically stolen, or at least it will try. How it plans to accomplish that is through the use of your phone’s sensors, such as the microphone, motion detector, light detector, its camera, and so on.

These sensors will monitor the room for changes, logging everything that happens. According to The Intercept’s Micah Lee, “Here’s how Haven might work. You lock your laptop in a hotel safe — not a secure move on its own — and place your Haven phone on top of it. If someone opens the safe while you’re away, the phone’s light meter might detect a change in lighting, its microphone might hear the safe open (and even the attacker speak), its accelerometer might detect motion if the attacker moves the laptop, and its camera might even capture a snapshot of the attacker’s face.”

What this means is that if you were to leave a laptop in a room and you walk away to go to the bathroom or to get a drink, the app and your phone can act as a sentry of sorts, alerting you to any motion which might indicate that someone could be trying to tamper with your laptop, like steal it or alter the information on it.

The app’s description reads, “Haven turns any Android phone into a motion, sound, vibration and light detector, watching for unexpected guests and unwanted intruders. We designed Haven for investigative journalists, human rights defenders, and people at risk of forced disappearance to create a new kind of herd immunity.

Of course Haven could be used for other things as well, such as monitoring your baby or just a room in general. The best part is that the information captured by Haven is not sent to third-party servers, meaning that users won’t have to worry about being spied on.

Filed in General. Read more about Apps, Laptops and Security.

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