Thousands of laptops lost in US airports weekly

Research conducted by Ponemon Institute shows that up to 12,000 laptops are misplaced every week in US airports

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  July 8, 2008

Heading to the United States for business? Well then, hang on to your laptops. Research sponsored by Dell has shown that up to 12,000 laptops are lost each week at airports in the US. That's 600,000 laptops misplaced every year.

The Ponemon Intitute surveyed 106 United States airports, some of the busiest in the world, and over 800 business travelers for the first laptop and business traveler study of its kind with interesting results.

While it's hard not to notice that your laptop is missing en route to your destination, the study has also shown that, surprisingly, between 65 and 70 percent of laptops are never reclaimed.

It is common practice for confidential data to be stored on laptops for business communication while traveling. This was highlighted in the study, which showed that 53 percent of business travelers reportedly carried sensitive information on their laptop. 65 percent of those travelers go on to admit that they hadn't taken adequate measures to protect data. It's astonishing to realize that this information is left behind for someone else to easily pick up.

If that wasn't bad enough, 42 percent of respondents said that they didn't back up their data either.

That just doesn't make good business sense.

3936 days ago
Ahmad Elkhatib

Even though stories like this are always high publicized in the media as a specialist in data security here in the Middle East, I am amazed by the amount of people who downplay the need for encrypting the data on their laptops so that they don't fall in the wrong hands. The cost of the hardware of a lost laptop might be a couple of thousand dollars, but the cost of the lost data can be multiple times higher.

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