(BOSTON, Mass. – Sept. 27, 2007 – IDTheftSecurity.com) The past two months alone saw hundreds of thousands of individuals’ sensitive information lost along with the laptop computers containing it. But Robert Siciliano, a widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert, said ongoing battle against data and hardware theft is in fact winnable. Encouraging IT departments everywhere to secure their mobile computers with Internet-based GPS and other data and hardware-protection technologies, he pointed to affordable solutions.
“To the industry observer reading the daily news,” said Siciliano, “the lack of security for data and mobile hardware must seem like an insurmountable problem, an intractable situation. But affordable solutions already exist that easily make laptop computers and the data on them highly secure. Smart organizations understand the value of protecting their own interests by protecting their constituents’, whether these are customers’ or employees’. An organization that protects its mobile computing devices and the data on them protects its own long-term viability.”
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.
Recent months have seen sensitive information on hundreds of thousands of individuals go missing along with the lost mobile computers containing it:
•In August, the theft of a laptop computer from the car of a state employee’s vehicle included the loss of identifying information on information on 106,000 Connecticut taxpayers. According to an article from the Sept. 8th edition of the Boston Globe, state records in Connecticut point to the loss or theft of more than 24 laptops from government offices, classrooms, employees’ vehicles, and their homes since July 2006.
•On Sept. 7, The Mercury News reported on the theft of a laptop computer containing personal information, including numerous Social Security Numbers, on more than 4,000 students from a De Anza College. The laptop had been stolen from a professor’s home.
•Also on Sept. 7, InformationWeek reported that McKesson, a health-care services company, was alerting “thousands” of patients that they might be at risk of identity theft. The announcement came after the theft of two computers from one of the company’s offices.
•On Sept. 25, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that the Utah Department of Workforce Services had lost to thieves a laptop computer suspected to house information on thousands of service recipients. Social Security numbers were among the data at large.
Siciliano directed organizations to MyLaptopGPS™, a product that combines Internet-based GPS tracking — which, for tracking and retrieving stolen laptops, is more effective than other forms of GPS — with other functionalities to secure mobile computing devices.
Users can launch MyLaptopGPS’ features remotely, protecting 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.
“In every example here of lost hardware,” said Dan Yost, chief technology officer at MyLaptopGPS, “simple, affordable technology would have greatly minimized the risk to those whose data was on these machines. MyLaptopGPS technology would have greatly increased these organizations’ chances not only of retrieving the lost computers, but also of keeping the sensitive information out of criminals’ hands.”
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. Yost delivered comments for a televised news report pertaining to the loss. Readers may view YouTube video below of the “NBC 7 Chicago” footage. The April 2007 issue of Chicago Union Teacher, official publication of the Chicago Teachers Union, also ran an article by Yost (page four of linked PDF document), who advised readers on how to prevent laptop theft.
Readers may view YouTube video of Sicliano on NBC below , 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: