Stolen Laptops & PDAs

June 18 2007

Laptop computers and PDAs are prime targets for theft from your office, home, or vehicle. Thieves love them since they're small, can be carried away without attracting attention, and sell easily for a good price. Data thieves like how they concentrate so much valuable information in one accessible place.

Safeware, the largest insurer of personal computers in the United States, estimates that computer owners (in the United States) filed over 4.1 million loss claims in 2002, including nearly 3 million claims for accidental damage and 620,000 claims for thefts.

Since most systems are not insured, this includes only a fraction of the total number of losses that year.

Virtual Losses -- While losing a valuable machine is bad enough, it may be dwarfed by the threat of intellectual property theft. What happens if all the data on a stolen system ends up in the wrong hands?

Because the problem is so common and costly, new products are emerging to combat laptop theft. Some new technologies to watch:

  • Encryption software stores data files in an encrypted format to prevent disclosure of the data even if your computer is stolen.

  • Locks, keys, and biometric identification devices are designed to prevent anyone but you from using the computer.

  • Tracers identify the location of a stolen laptop when the system is linked to the Internet.

  • Proximity alarms sound off if the laptop gets too far away from its owner or user.

You have many products and options available to limit your exposure and liability to this common crime. For more details on systems theft and the steps you can take to protect your data, contact us by phone or email!