(BOSTON, Mass. – Aug. 23, 2007 – IDTheftSecurity.com) Recent news reports have tied laptop computer theft to identity fraud and related crimes. According to Robert Siciliano, a widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert, credit card fraud and other financial data–related offenses are clear and present dangers for anyone whose sensitive, personal information is on a stolen laptop computer. He said businesses and other organizations are especially susceptible to the high costs associated with these concerns, and directed them to technology that tracks and secures lost mobile computers.
“A lost laptop computer is a lost identity,” said Siciliano. “Left unsecured, a laptop easily becomes a useful tool for the criminal bent on committing identity theft and related crimes. Imagine this criminal’s elation to find a treasure trove of sensitive, identifying data on a stolen mobile computer. Any organization that uses laptop computers needs to secure these machines against theft. ”
CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com and a member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report’s editorial board, Siciliano leads Fortune 500 companies and their clients in workshops that explore consumer education solutions for security issues. A longtime identity theft speaker and author of “The Safety Minute: 01,” he has discussed data security and consumer protection on CNBC, on NBC’s “Today Show,” FOX News, and elsewhere.
Laptop computer theft’s cost can exceed $6,000 for even just one machine, according to research from Gartner Group. The number is conservative compared to the numbers from the 2002 Computer Security Institute/FBI Computer Crime & Security Survey, which estimated the actual financial loss of a laptop theft to be $89,000. In 2003, the Annual Computer Crime and Security Survey estimated the average loss even higher, at $250,000.
The subject of an article from the Aug. 14th edition of the San Jose Mercury News provided insight into why laptop theft’s costs are high. Detailing the activities of a laptop-stealing, Alameda, Calif.–based boyfriend–girlfriend team, the article described how the two reportedly used stolen laptop computers to visit people-search Websites that yielded personal financial information enabling them to commit identity fraud, credit card fraud, and other, related crimes.
According to experts, under similar theft scenarios the owner’s data itself is also at risk. “To make best use of the owner’s personal financial data, a thief will, predictably, go onto the Internet with a stolen laptop computer,” said Dan Yost, chief technology officer at MyLaptopGPS, a company whose products and services secure laptops and the data stored on them. “This is where our product shines. Even as the thief attempts to gain access to the owner’s bank account and other financial repositories, MyLaptopGPS retrieves and deletes all important data from the machine.”
MyLaptopGPS™ combines Internet-based GPS tracking — which, for tracking and retrieving stolen laptops, is more effective than other forms of GPS — with other functionalities that users can launch remotely to protect data even while the machine is in a criminal’s hands. Once connected to the Internet, the software silently retrieves, and then deletes, files from machines as it tracks the stolen or missing hardware — at once returning the data to its rightful owner and removing it from the lost computer.
A downloadable demo of MyLaptopGPS is available. Recently, Yost delivered comments for a televised news report pertaining to the loss of laptop computers containing the Social Security numbers of numerous teachers at Chicago’s public schools. Readers may view YouTube video below of the “NBC 7 Chicago” footage.
Earlier this year, the theft of two laptops from an auditing firm resulted in the loss of 40,000 Chicago Public School teachers’ Social Security numbers. The April 2007 issue of Chicago Union Teacher, official publication of the Chicago Teachers Union, ran an article by Yost (page four of linked PDF document) that advised readers on how to prevent laptop theft.
Readers may view YouTube video below of Sicliano on NBC, where he uses the example of a laptop stolen from Hotels.com to discuss the crime’s close relationship to identity theft. To learn more about identity theft, a major concern for anyone who has been affected by the theft of a laptop computer, readers may go to video of Siciliano at VideoJug.
Since 1984, Tri-8, Inc. (DBA MyLaptopGPS.com) has specialized in complete system integration. From real-time electronic payment processing software to renowned mid-market ERP implementations, the executive team at MyLaptopGPS has been serving leading enterprises and implementing world-class data systems that simply work. With MyLaptopGPS™, Tri-8, Inc. brings a level of expertise, dedication, knowledge and service that is unmatched. MyLaptopGPS™’s rock-solid performance, security, and reliability flow directly from the company’s commitment to top-notch software products and services for almost 25 years.
Identity theft affects us all, and Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com and member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report’s editorial board, makes it his mission to provide consumer education solutions on identity theft to Fortune 500 companies and their clients. A leader of personal safety and security seminars nationwide, Siciliano has been featured on “The Today Show,” CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, “FOX News,” “The Suze Orman Show,” “The Montel Williams Show,” “Maury Povich,” “Sally Jesse Raphael,” “The Howard Stern Show,” and “Inside Edition.” The Privacy Learning Institute features him on its Website. Numerous magazines, print news outlets, and wire services have turned to him, as well, for expert commentary on personal security and identity theft. These include Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Woman’s Day, Mademoiselle, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, United Press International, Reuters, and others.
The media are encouraged to get in touch with any of the following individuals: