Identity Theft Expert: MyLaptopGPS Announces “Realtime Estimated Damage Index” (REDI) to Show Cost of Laptop Thefts in 2008 Surpassing $300 Million

(BOSTON, Mass. – Feb. 21, 2008 – MyLaptopGPS™, provider of Internet-based GPS tracking software for stolen mobile computing equipment, today announced the Realtime Estimated Damage Index (REDI), visible at the company’s website. The REDI, a continually updating, cumulative total of high-profile laptop and desktop computer thefts and losses, has estimated the damage, or cost, of computer thefts in 2008 already to be $309,318,519. This number reflects the likelihood that identity theft and other crimes will occur when a laptop is lost, said widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert Robert Siciliano.

“The cost of laptop computer theft far exceeds the amount of money it takes to replace the lost hardware and software,” said Siciliano. “Many laptop computers store sensitive data that gives thieves who know what to do with it the ability to assume the computer owner’s identity and commit fraud in the victim’s name. This is where the real damage from laptop computer theft lies, and the cost is significant.”

CEO of 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.

In 2002, a Computer Security Institute/FBI Computer Crime & Security Survey calculated the actual financial loss of a laptop theft to be $89,000. A 2003 Annual Computer Crime and Security Survey placed the average loss even higher, at $250,000. These numbers reflect a combination of factors such as legal follow-up and identity theft, either of which can lead to financial catastrophe. Drawing on the more conservative of these baselines, the REDI’s damage estimation for just two months’ worth of laptop thefts in 2008 dwarfed the cost of the $9.95 monthly subscription to MyLaptopGPS’s software, which also retrieves and deletes sensitive data from machines while they’re missing.

MyLaptopGPS 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.

“Being a Resources Management Company with traveling employees,” said Eric Ruis of Proximity W.L.L., “we needed a rock solid system that didn’t merely protect our company assets and data, but could also recover our assets and data if necessary. We needed multiple layers of security for our laptops, and that brought us to MyLaptopGPS. Their service has bent over backward to meet our needs and now we rest comfortably, knowing we have six full layers of effective protection and the ability to monitor and protect our laptops — from anywhere.”

MyLaptopGPS also offers SafeRegistry™, a comprehensive system for inventorying entire fleets of mobile computers, as well as a full line of highly renowned SafeTags™, which are police-traceable property tags designed to secure iPods, cell phones, BlackBerry devices, and other mobile property.

A downloadable demo of MyLaptopGPS is available. 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.

“The theft rate of unsecured laptops is twelve and a half percent,” said Dan Yost, chief technology officer at MyLaptopGPS, “whereas the theft rate of a MyLaptopGPS-equipped mobile computing device is less than half a percentage point. The product not only acts as a strong deterrent; the prospects are also strong for finding a MyLaptopGPS-secured machine.”

Readers may view YouTube video below 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.

According to USA Today, theft of personal data more than tripled in 2007. Below, readers may view video of Siciliano discussing this news on the new “FOX Business” network. To learn more about identity theft, a major concern for anyone who’s lost a laptop computer to thieves, readers may go to video of Siciliano at VideoJug.


About MyLaptopGPS

Since 1984, Tri-8, Inc. (DBA 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 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.

For more information, visit Siciliano’s Web site, blog, and YouTube page.

The media are encouraged to get in touch with any of the following individuals:

John Dunivan
MyLaptopGPS Media Relations
PHONE: (405) 747-6654 (direct line)

Robert Siciliano, Personal Security Expert
CEO of
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)

Brent W. Skinner
President & CEO of STETrevisions
PHONE: 617-875-4859
FAX: 866-663-6557