Identity Theft Expert and MyLaptopGPS: Massive Loss of Mobile Computers from U.S. Government Agency Underscores Need for Laptop Tracking Technology
(BOSTON, Mass. – Sept. 22, 2008 – IDTheftSecurity.com) News reports last week indicated that a U.S. government agency associated with law enforcement lost weapons and hundreds of laptop computers during the five-year period of 2002 to 2007. But developments such as this would be much less of a cause for concern if organizations took the proper, affordable steps to secure their fleets of mobile computing equipment, said widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert Robert Siciliano. Firms that wish to avoid laptop theft and mitigate the ramifications of laptop loss should, according to Siciliano, consider laptop tracking and data recovery firm MyLaptopGPS, mentioned in the August 2008 issue of Inc. Magazine.
"Laptop theft and loss is one of the most preventable security breaches," said Siciliano. "Smart organizations understand this. They secure their fleets of mobile computing gear by keeping accurate records of all machines in inventory and by equipping everything not only with tracking technology, but also with the functionality that allows IT personnel to remotely delete and retrieve what resides on the machine when and if it ever goes missing. By taking measures that in any way fall short of these, organizations invite disaster. News reports every week prove that laptop thefts and losses of catastrophic scope happen all the time."
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 presentations that explore security solutions for businesses and individuals. Author of "The Safety Minute: 01" and a longtime identity theft speaker, he has discussed data security and consumer protection on CNBC, NBC’s "Today Show," FOX News Network, and elsewhere.
On Sept. 18, The Washington Post reported news that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had lost 418 laptop computers and 76 weapons between 2002 and 2007. "Two weapons were subsequently used to commit crimes," according to The Washington Post. Furthermore, 12 percent of the laptops were reported as stolen, revealed a Sept. 17thCNN.com article covering the same news. These numbers were the findings of an audit conducted by the U.S. Justice Department, whose own report, released on Sept. 17, on the matter was "scathing" as The Washington Post described it.
"If an organization loses that many laptop computers, the associated audit’s language had better be scathing," said MyLaptopGPS’ chief technology officer, Dan Yost, who invited readers to visit the MyLaptopGPS blog, where they may discuss laptop theft and loss. "Laptop theft and loss is particularly frustrating. The technology already exists not only to render these events rare, but also to render their aftermath almost inconsequential. Simple tracking and remote data deletion capabilities are easy and inexpensive to implement. With them, large-scale laptop loss would happen much less often, and the attendant concerns following the rare occurrence would be minimal."
MyLaptopGPS maintains the Realtime Estimated Damage Index (REDI™), a running tally of highly publicized laptop and desktop computer thefts and losses. The 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. At its website, MyLaptopGPS also keeps a log of these high-profile laptop thefts.
MyLaptopGPS’ anti-laptop theft technology 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. A user launches 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.
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.
Readers may download a demo of MyLaptopGPS. A white paper is also available.
"Our laptop fleet was certainly worth protecting," said Jim Sullivan, the network, systems and security administrator for FastForms, Inc. "We had 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."
YouTube video below shows Siciliano on FOX News Network, 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:
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