Lack of Laptop Security Leads to Identity Theft

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

In 2003, an estimated 1.5 million laptops were stolen worldwide. Today, that number has climbed to 2.6 million. That’s a 70% increase in just a few years. That’s one stolen laptop every 12 seconds.

Laptop computers have been the source of some of the biggest data breaches of all time. 800,000 doctors were recently put at risk for identity theft when a laptop containing their personal data went missing from the Chicago-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

As the years pass, laptop prices come down and their computing power goes up, making them increasingly vulnerable.

According to yet another interesting Ponemon Institute study, more than half of IT and security professionals worldwide believe their companies’ laptops and other mobile devices pose security risks, and only half of them have CEOs who are strong advocates and supporters of data security efforts. Kelly Jackson Higgins’ article at Dark Reading gives a good summary of these findings.

In the United States specifically, the situation is even worse, with only 40% of IT and security pros believing their CEOs to be security supporters. When it comes to compliance with regulations, “US firms were also less inclined to consider compliance helpful to security of their endpoints.”

This report is both quite troubling and yet unsurprising. It models the philosophies that produce what we see in the real world: data breaches are quite commonplace, decent security is quite achievable, and most businesses just don’t really care, at least until they learn the hard way. It’s akin to a widespread lack of interest in wearing seat belts, with only those who experience accidents deciding that, sure enough, it’s not very hard to buckle a seat belt and the benefits are enormous.

Many businesses have a department, or at least a group or individual, that handles security. (Note that the report also exposes a woeful lack of collaboration with this section of the business.) Yet “the security department,” or the IT department in general, tends to find that upper management just doesn’t “buy in” with security efforts.

Dan Yost, Chief Technology Officer of MyLaptopGPS, states, “It seems good to let the upper management take a serious fall when (not if) breaches happen. They choose not to support the buckling of seat belts, because it’s ‘not important’ or at least not a priority. It’s only fair that their necks be on the line during the next ‘accident’.”

Unfortunately your security, or lack thereof, is in the hands of others. Take control. Protect your identity. Get a credit freeze. Go to and follow the steps for your particular state. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief.

Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Not all forms of identity theft protection can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk. (Disclosures)

Robert Siciliano, identity theft speaker, discusses Laptop Security on The Today Show.

Identity Theft Expert and Laptop Computer Security: CTO of MyLaptopGPS Explains Why Internet-based GPS is Best for Laptop Tracking

(BOSTON, Mass. – March 30, 2009 – Stolen laptop computers almost always end up indoors and connected to the Internet, according to Dan Yost, chief technology officer of laptop computer security firm MyLaptopGPS. He further noted that these circumstances at once hamper other laptop tracking systems and call for Internet-based GPS, MyLaptopGPS’ brand of laptop trackingtechnology. 

“GPS technologies such as those found in car navigation systems are great for tracking cars and kids — both of which are often outdoors,” said Yost, who invited readers to follow MyLaptopGPS’ laptop computer security blog and laptop computer security posts at Twitter. “But stolen laptops are almost never outdoors. Thieves — or the unwitting buyers of the machines thieves steal — almost always take them indoors and connect to the Internet. This is where Internet-based GPS is best for determining the lost equipment’s whereabouts.” 

Yost’s expertise has been featured twice in CXO Europe. Furthermore, in December of 2008, he and widely televised and quoted identity theft expert Robert Siciliano co-delivered a presentation titled “Information in the Modern Age: Maintaining Privacy in an Era of Medical Record Identity Theft” at the 4th Annual World Healthcare Innovation & Technology Congress in Washington, D.C., where Former U.S. Congressman Newt Gingrich delivered the keynote address. 

The success rate for MyLaptopGPS is 99.6 percent; the theft rate for laptop computers equipped with the company’s technology is 0.4 percent, or 32 times lower than the average. MyLaptopGPS’ technology achieves this through six layers of security: 

1) Prevention: MyLaptopGPS-equipped mobile computing equipment clearly displays the technology’s presence on the machine. This is itself a major deterrent. 

2) Tracking: Internet-based GPS determines the whereabouts (via IP address) of a stolen machine shortly after the unintended user connects to the Internet. 

3) Recovery: Once the stolen machine is online, MyLaptopGPS software is able to retrieve important files silently and from a remote location. 

4) Destruction: MyLaptopGPS’ software also deletes these same files from the originating machine — again, silently and from a remote location. 

5) Tracing: MyLaptopGPS’ offers SafeTags™, police-traceable property tags designed to secure iPods™, cell phones, BlackBerry™ devices and other mobile computing property. 

6) Identification: MyLaptopGPS’ SafeRegistry™ facilitates the inventorying of entire fleets of mobile computing devices. 

“Laptop computer security is inexpensive, but a stolen laptop can cost a fortune,” said Siciliano, who endorses MyLaptopGPS and is CEO of identity theft protection firm “The choice is obvious, and with a success rate approaching one hundred percent, MyLaptopGPS is the go-to solution for organizations of all kinds looking for an affordable, effective deterrent against laptop theft.” 

YouTube video shows Siciliano on a local FOX News affiliate discussing the importance of securing mobile computing devices on college campuses, where laptop theft can run rampant. To learn more about identity theft, a major concern for anyone who’s lost a laptop computer or other mobile computing device to thieves, readers may go to video of Siciliano at VideoJug. 

Featured in Inc. Magazine and TechRepublic, MyLaptopGPS maintains the Realtime Estimated Damage Index (REDI™), a running tally of highly publicized laptop and desktop computer thefts and losses and these losses’ associated costs. A log of these high-profile laptop thefts is available at MyLaptopGPS’ website. Anyone who belongs to LinkedIn® is encouraged to join MyLaptopGPS’ laptop computer security group there. They may download a demo of MyLaptopGPS, as well, and have the opportunity to read one of two reports tailored to the type of organization they run. 


About MyLaptopGPS

Celebrating 25 years in business, Tri-8, Inc. (DBA has specialized in complete system integration since its founding in 1984. 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. 


CEO of, Robert Siciliano is a member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report‘s editorial board and of the consumer advisory board for McAfee. Additionally, in a partnership to help raise awareness about the growing threat of identity theft and provide tips for consumers to protect themselves, he is the 2009 nationwide spokesperson for uni-ball ( provides for more information). 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 ForbesUSA TodayEntrepreneur, Woman’s DayMademoiselleGood HousekeepingThe New York TimesLos Angeles Times,Washington TimesThe Washington PostChicago TribuneUnited Press InternationalReuters, and others. For more information, visit Siciliano’s Web siteblog, 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 Skinner

President & CEO of STETrevisions

PHONE: 617-875-4859

FAX: 866-663-6557