Stolen and misplaced laptops can leave companies susceptible to costly data breaches, even more so if a notebook goes missing while the operating system is fully loaded, but Lenovo believes it has come up with a solution for that problem. The company, in conjunction with Phoenix Technologies, will begin adding a feature to Lenovo notebooks that allows them to be “remotely killed” via a text message sent from a cell phone.

The new Constant Secure Remote Disable feature will come embedded within certain 3G-enabled ThinkPads’ BIOS and can be activated with a simple text message command such as “Turn off PC” from a specified cell phone number. The lockdown will happen immediately if the notebook is turned on or the next time the system signs on to a cellular network and from there the self-encrypting hard drive should take over to protect the computer’s data.

To reactivate the disabled PC, a user needs to enter a preset pass code after the notebook is restarted. The service will be available in the first quarter of 2009 on select ThinkPad notebooks at no additional charge and will be supported worldwide wherever cellular phone systems support text message transmission. If the computer is out of cellular range, though, you’re out of luck.