(BOSTON, Mass. – Oct. 26, 2007 – IDTheftSecurity.com) Reports from just one day this month indicated that high-profile mobile computer thefts led to the loss of personal data on nearly 175,000 individuals. Robert Siciliano, a widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert, said the frenetic pace of data loss at the hands of laptop computer thieves is inexcusable and unnecessary. He urged organizations of all kinds to use technology such as Internet-based GPS to track their fleets of laptop computers.
“Some of the information lost this month may represent a national security risk,” said Siciliano. “Yet we wouldn’t have to face these types of consequences of laptop computer theft if only organizations would adopt and implement simple, affordable technology designed to track, retrieve, and protect the data stored on lost mobile computers.”
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.
One day, Oct. 16, 2007, saw reports on laptop thefts that potentially exposed nearly 175,000 unique personal data records to thieves:
- SC Magazine reported the theft of three laptop computers belonging to the Transportation Security Administration. Among those whose personal information was stored on the machines were commercial truck drivers who transport hazardous materials. Data included names, addresses, birthdays, commercial driver’s license numbers, and some Social Security numbers.
- The Orlando-Sentinel reported the theft of a laptop computer from Administaff Inc., a temporary employment agency serving the Central Florida business community. According to the article, the company alerted 159,000 past and current workers that the loss might have compromised their personal data, which the machine had housed unencrypted.
- TheBostonChannel.com reported that the theft in Massachusetts of a laptop computer belonging to Home Depot placed the personal data on 10,000 employees at risk.
But the day was no exception; laptop theft continues unabated. A Sept. 28th news release reported that the personal data for approximately 800,000 people who applied online or by phone for store positions at one of Gap Inc.’s brands between July 2006 and June 2007 had gone missing. Their data, according to the release, had been stored on a laptop stolen from the offices of a third-party vendor tasked with managing the job applications.
Organizations that need an affordable, simple solution for laptop security may turn to MyLaptopGPS™. The product 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 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.
MyLaptopGPS also offers SafeRegistry™, a comprehensive system for inventorying entire fleets of mobile computers. A downloadable demo of MyLaptopGPS is available.
“The loss of a laptop computer to theft doesn’t have to spell doom for those whose personal data are stored on the lost device’s hard drive,” said Dan Yost, chief technology officer at MyLaptopGPS. “If only industry would use technology like MyLaptopGPS’s, such events would indeed be nonevents; from a remote location, officials would be able to safely retrieve and delete any sensitive information unbeknownst to the thief, and eventually recover the stolen machine.”
The October 2007 issue of Bank Fraud & IT Security Report, a newsletter published only in hard copy, ran “The Seven Layers of Laptop Security,” an article by Siciliano and Yost. A white paper adaptation of that article is available from MyLaptopGPS.
Readers may view YouTube video of “NBC 7 Chicago” footage featuring Yost delivering comments for a televised news report that covered the April 2007 theft of two laptops that stored 40,000 Chicago Public School teachers’ Social Security numbers. 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:
MyLaptopGPS Media Relations
PHONE: (405) 747-6654 (direct line)
Robert Siciliano, Personal Security Expert
CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)
Brent W. Skinner
President & CEO of STETrevisions