(BOSTON, Mass. – July 23, 2008 – IDTheftSecurity.com) Up to 12,000 laptop computers go missing every week at U.S. airports, research released in late June indicated, and the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) this week announced that it lost about one laptop computer every two days over the past four years. Laptop theft and loss is bound to occur, said widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert Robert Siciliano, who encouraged those seeking a simple, effective solution to the dilemma to consider the services and technology of MyLaptopGPS, a laptop tracking and data recovery firm.
"Laptop tracking and data recovery are not as complicated or expensive as they sound," said Siciliano. "In fact, the amount of money it takes to secure mobile computing devices of all kinds against thieves and carelessness is inconsequential compared to the potentially monumental cost of even one laptop theft or loss. Recovery of the hardware is just one part of the equation, after all, and perhaps the least important; lawsuits and the cost of informing all those whose data may have resided on the machine can add up to a catastrophic financial hit. And it’s all avoidable."
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 through consumer education workshops that explore security solutions for businesses and individuals. A longtime identity theft speaker and author of "The Safety Minute: 01," he has discussed data security and consumer protection on CNBC, NBC’s "Today Show," FOX News Network, and elsewhere.
Nearly 640,000 laptop computers go missing at U.S. airports every year, revealed a report released on June 30 by the Ponemon Institute. Sponsored by Dell, the research explored travelers’ attention to the security of their laptop computers and the data stored on them. For instance, a full 65 percent of business travelers "do not take steps to protect the confidential or sensitive information contained on [their] laptop when traveling on business," according to the report, which went on to note that nearly half (47 percent) of these mobile machines store client, customer or consumer data.
In yet more worrisome news regarding the frequency of laptop computer theft and loss, Information World Review and others reported on July 21 that the MoD lost the equivalent of one laptop computer every two days over the past four years. Also lost were 121 USB memory sticks belonging to MoD, with a number of these containing information coded as "secret" or "restricted," Information World Review reported.
"Clearly, the theft or other loss of laptops occurs far more often than owners of them tend to believe," said MyLaptopGPS’ chief technology officer, Dan Yost, who directed readers to a log of high-profile laptop thefts that the company records at its website. "And this fact makes the laptop thief’s job easy, for the sentiment that laptop theft can’t happen to them lulls owners of mobile computing devices into leaving their machines unsecured. A slight yet significant shift in thinking is necessary for organizations and individuals that rely on laptop computers to recognize the great importance of securing them against loss and theft."
Along with a log of high-profile thefts, MyLaptopGPS‘ website keeps a running tally of highly publicized laptop and desktop computer thefts and losses. The Realtime Estimated Damage Index (REDI) also assesses those losses’ associated costs by drawing on estimates from the FBI and other sources that reflect the likelihood that identity theft and other crimes will occur whenever a computer is misplaced or stolen.
Anti-laptop theft technology such as MyLaptopGPS’ combines Internet-based GPS tracking — more effective than other forms of GPS for tracking and retrieving stolen laptops — 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.
"Our laptop fleet was certainly worth protecting," said Jim Sullivan, the network, systems and security administrator for FastForms, Inc. "We have procedures in place to help secure the machines, but we realized that we needed some key additional layers of security, such as covert tracking and remote-controlled data recovery and destruction. MyLaptopGPS’ solution is very easy to use, and we are quite satisfied. We would recommend MyLaptopGPS to any business seeking a simple solution to secure their laptops and data."
Additionally, MyLaptopGPS 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.
The YouTube video below shows Siciliano on "FOX Newschannel," where he discussed this year’s data security breach at Hannaford Bros. and provided consumers affected by the theft with the tips they needed to avoid paying for fraudulent charges to their bank accounts and credit accounts. 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.
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." 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: