A device and software utilizing Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technologies for monitoring and recovering portable computing devices and, a method and system for acquiring such devices, protecting data on such devices, and for compensating owners of devices. A GPS mechanism of the invention provides real time tracking of missing devices that may be coordinated with security agencies to intercept and recover missing computing devices. When a stolen device is unrecoverable, the invention may receive a signal to initiate data recovery where a wireless network is available to recover data for the owner. Alternatively, the GPS mechanism instructs the device to encrypt or destroy stored data files to prevent commercial espionage or privacy violations. The invention discloses a software system and method for computing a purchase price of the GPS mechanism, computing compensation for loss of the device and lost data.