Cloud storage service SugarSync today announced it is offering users the ability to remotely delete all their synced files from a PC or Mac in the event it is lost or stolen.
Remote wipe capabilities are typically offered as part of business-class mobile device management software, however, it's rarely seen in consumer services.
With the new Remote Wipe feature, both business and individual consumer users can remove all of their synced files. The new tool is also being marketed as a way to make transferring ownership of a computer simpler as all personal or business data stored in the SugarSync cloud can be easily removed and then quickly synced again to a new device.
Beginning today, all customers with paid, personal SugarSync accounts (starting at $7.49 per month for 60GB of storage) who are running the latest version of the SugarSync PC or Mac software will have access to the Remote Wipe feature.
Frank Gillett, a research analyst from Forrester, said he has seen consumer and business remote wipe capability once before from a company called Nomadesk. So, he said, for SugarSync it's a way to stand out.
"I think remote wipe is an important idea as illustrated by the feature built into the iPhone and all of Apple's computers and devices. It is also available on Windows Phone and Android although it's not as obvious," he said. "So I think it is only a matter of time before all these cloud services have an ability to remove their data from devices with data cached or copied to deal with lost or stolen devices."
A SugarSync spokeswoman said that with the copious amounts of private information being stored on personal devices, remote wipe is becoming a crucial feature.
"And unlike other competitors who may only offer this feature to business users, SugarSync felt it was important to offer it to their individual users as well, since so many of them use their devices for both professional and personal reasons," she said.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
Read more about data storage in Computerworld's Data Storage Topic Center.