A British company has developed an intelligent security technology that can block access and destroy data if a laptop is moved from its designated space.

Backstopp, from technology company, Virtuity, constantly monitors the electronic "heartbeat" of a laptop to determine its location. If the laptop is moved from its allowed zone the software steps in to remove sensitive data.

Backstopp can use any wireless communication, such as Wi-Fi, to locate laptops. The PCs can also be tagged with RFID chips to monitor movement when switched off to make the safe zone even smaller.

If a laptop is reported missing, or if the "control centre" concludes that the machine is "at risk", the system seeks out the digital heartbeat and sends a "self destruct" message.

Meanwhile the software on the laptop can use any in-built webcam to start taking a series of photographs to help with identification of the culprit, uploading the images as soon as any network becomes available. The system is completely invisible to the thief.

Prices start at £10 a laptop per month.