If you switch on your computer one day only to find nothing happens, it could be because its insides have been stolen. This is the latest trend in computer burglaries, say crime prevention authorities. To alleviate this and other security worries, however, you can now buy a computer safe.

The safe, made by Boxx Security of High Wycombe, can contain most brands of desktop computer and may be bolted to the floor or a wall, for "tower"- style machines, or to a desk for flat-top machines. Priced at £129 plus VAT, it's made from steel and is designed to conform to British Standard 7558, which states that it must withstand attack for more than five minutes. Tests have been carried out using the tools that an opportunist thief might be expected to carry, such as crow-bars, jemmies and screwdrivers, says John Randall of Boxx Security.

Mr Randall says the company's expertise came originally from manufacturing gunsafes: protective, lockable containers for guns and ammunition that are required by law. Increasing levels of computer theft suggested a market for a variation on the theme.

Insurance firms will welcome the device, he believes, especially as statistics indicate that a large number of companies suffering burglaries are robbed again within two weeks: that is, after just enough time has elapsed for them to have replaced their computing equipment using insurance money.

Whether users will be prepared to turn their workstations into miniature Fort Knoxes could be a different matter, however.

For further information, telephone 0 (149) 455 8181.