New research by Absolute Software, providers of a LoJack-like service for computers, shows that most laptops are stolen at home. And when you consider that most laptops today carry too much personal information, a disk encryption software solution like AlertBoot may be the key towards ensuring your information is not stolen.
33% of UK Laptop Thefts At Home
The research has revealed that one third of all UK laptop thefts take place at home. In France, the count is at 22%; the US, 18%; and Germany shows 17% of thefts at home.
Furthermore, theft from cars are at 24%. Eight percent occur in public transportation, and two percent are stolen from coffee shops and airports.
While the numbers appear surprising at first glance, they shouldn’t be. All things being equal, laptops tend to spend more time at a fixed location (I’m surprised corporate thefts/break-ins are not included), so it just makes sense that the stats would reflect this.
It’s similar to that statistic that shows most car accidents happen within 15 miles from one’s home: it’s not because everyone’s neighborhood happens to be a disaster-prone area; rather, it’s because most people don’t venture further than 15 miles from their homes, even while driving.
Or consider banks: all robberies involving $100,000 or more probably occur at banks. This doesn’t mean that banks are terrible places for parking one-hundred grand in cash, right? You’d be crazy to park one-hundred grand in cash anywhere else, even with the above stat that “proves” how terrible banks are at keeping big money.
I’d say that the lesson to be taken from this research is that you need data protection at all times. Not only when you’re on the move, as the representative from Absolute Software noted for the story, but even when a device is parked at home.
After all, sensitive data doesn’t stop being sensitive data once you get home.
So, what can you do protect your data at all times? Protect it with software that was meant and designed to safeguard data, such as encryption software. While tracking software such as LoJack is great at recovering stolen goods (an internet connection is necessary), there’s no guarantee that any sensitive data will not be accessed between theft and recovery. (Of course, having both may be an even better solution. After all, encryption cannot recover your goods for you, just ensure that unauthorized people don’t gain access to your information.)
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