K-12 Schools Are Hot Spots for Laptop Thefts
It appears that a lot of pupils are getting schooled in the ways of thieves.
A new list from Absolute Software Corp. identifies K-12 schools as the No. 1 spot for the theft of laptop computers. The second hot spot for stolen computers is your home.
"The trends in this list may surprise some computer owners. According to our experience, consumers think 'it won't happen to me' and take chances. They often think of security issues only when they are on the move," said Mark Grace, vice president of consumer business at Absolute Software, whose products track, manage and protect mobile computers and devices.
"However, with schools and residences topping the list of places computers are stolen, owners need to be extra cautious, particularly around the holidays when home burglaries often increase.”
Cars are the third most popular place for laptop thefts according to the Absolute Software list, followed in descending order by:
• Businesses and offices.
• Colleges and universities.
• Hotels and motels.
• Stores and shopping malls.
• Public transportation, such as taxis, buses and trains.
FBI statistics show a total of 221,009 laptops were reported stolen in 2008 and 2009. Only 3 percent of stolen laptops that are unprotected (not equipped with tracking software) are recovered, the FBI says.
A 2009 study on performed by the Ponemon Institute and commissioned by Intel Corp. pegged the average value of a lost laptop at $49,246. Seven factors were used to calculate the value: replacement cost, detection, forensics, data breach, lost intellectual property costs, lost productivity, and legal, consulting and regulatory expenses.
The Ponemon study examined 138 cases involving a lost laptop used by an employee, temporary employee or contractor.
The District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department and Galt Technology Inc. offer these tips for keeping your laptop out of the hands of a thief or for lessening the impact of a theft:Continued on the next page