(BOSTON, Mass. – Nov. 20, 2008 – IDTheftSecurity.com) Nearly 200,000 unique data records have potentially fallen into the hands of identity thieves because of two high-profile laptop thefts widely reported this month. Laptop tracking and data recovery technology such as MyLaptopGPS would have mitigated concerns over these thefts and others like them, according to widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert Robert Siciliano.
"Yet again, we’ve seen countless news reports of laptop thefts over the course of less than a month’s time," said Siciliano. "And two of these laptop thefts have yielded the mother lode for identity thieves, who regularly run in laptop stealing circles. Social Security numbers, banking information and more — they’re all on these stolen laptops containing hundreds of thousands of data records, and they’re the building blocks of identity fraud."
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.
Amid reports of numerous laptop thefts in November, two stood out for the number of data records that the stolen machines contained:
- About 107,400 patients of Baylor Heath Care System, a Dallas-based system of hospitals and outpatient centers, are being notified of a recent laptop theft, reported Computerworld on Nov. 5. Among the data records were thousands that contained Social Security numbers.
- According to a Nov. 6th report in Medical News Today, a laptop computer belonging to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Aging and Adult Services Division had gone missing to thieves. On Nov. 5, The News & Observer reported that the stolen mobile computer contained 85,045 confidential data records, with more than half of these including full Social Security numbers.
"Laptop theft marches on," said MyLaptopGPS’ chief technology officer, Dan Yost, who invited readers to visit the MyLaptopGPS blog and discuss the impact of laptop thefts such as those from Baylor Health and the Aging and Adult Services Division. "Every person associated with every one of those now-imperiled hundreds of thousands of data records surely wishes the affected institutions had invested in the inexpensive laptop tracking and retrieval technology that would have rendered these thefts insignificant. Given that MyLaptopGPS is in fact also a laptop theft deterrent, these crimes may never have even happened had these organizations employed laptop tracking technology."
MyLaptopGPS, a laptop security company mentioned in the August 2008 issue of Inc. Magazine, 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.
"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."
The 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 educate 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: