(BOSTON, Mass. – June 12, 2008 – IDTheftSecurity.com) News in early June of another round of laptop thefts suggested that the personal data on at least 100,000 people possibly fell into the hands of thieves as a result: In some instances, the information was not encrypted, reports revealed. Laptop computers, an easy target for thieves, are also easy to secure, said Robert Siciliano, a widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert who pointed to affordable laptop tracking technology from MyLaptopGPS.
“Securing laptop computers against theft and loss is very easy and affordable,” said Siciliano. “Smart organizations understand this and do it. The alternative is to risk major financial loss, not to mention the damage to consumer or employee trust and loyalty, as well as a diminished brand reputation.”
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, on NBC’s “Today Show,” FOX Newschannel, and elsewhere.
Reports surfaced in early June of laptop computers gone missing from three different organizations, posing significant potential ramifications for people whose personal data was stored on the machines:
- On June 9, Consumer Affairs added its reporting to the news that a laptop computer belonging to AT&T and containing “names, Social Security numbers, and salary information for an undisclosed number of workers” had been stolen from an employee’s vehicle in May. The next day, SecurityProPortal.com reported that AT&T had failed to encrypt the lost laptop’s data.
- Widely reported news that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle on June 8 revealed the details of a laptop theft from Stanford University affecting 72,000 university employees past and present. The laptop contained “names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, business titles, work and home phone numbers, home addresses, salaries, and Stanford e-mail addresses and employee identification numbers” of employees hired before Sept. 28, 2007.
- On June 4, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that a laptop computer belonging to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (a government agency) and containing social insurance numbers, bank account numbers and other data on about 32,000 Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) fell into thieves’ hands in March. The agency waited until late May to inform all those possibly affected, the article indicated.
“With the proper antitheft technology installed on laptop computers, laptop tracking is simple and affordable,” 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. “Furthermore, with MyLaptopGPS, encryption is less of a need because the rightful owners of the machines can retrieve and delete data from a remote location. Rather than wait months to inform constituencies that their information is in peril, an organization with laptop tracking technology just presses the button to deprive thieves of the data stored on that mobile device.”
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.
“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 discusses this year’s data security breach at Hannaford Bros. and provides affected consumers with the tips they need 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: