Huge increase in UK laptop thefts in 2006

The problem of data loss and accidental disclosure is being fuelled by a
rise in the number of laptops stolen in the UK,
silicon.com
can reveal.

In recent months organisations such as the Nationwide
building society
, the Metropolitan
Police
, Worcestershire
County Council
and Serco are among those left exposed as a result of laptop
thefts – and the problem is only getting worse.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by silicon.com has revealed the
number of laptops stolen in the past year (2006) has significantly increased on
the previous year, according to the records of 28 UK
police forces. (note: the figures do NOT include thefts from homes and
offices).

The results displayed are:

Devon & Cornwall (+45%) ;

Bedfordshire (+35%) ;

Lothian & Borders (+31.50%) ;

Leicestershire (+21%) ;

Greater Manchester
(+15.15%) ;

West Yorkshire (+15.14%) ;

Merseyside (+15%) ;

Metropolitan Police (+14.60%) ;

Cambridgeshire (+12.40%) ;

City of London
(+8.80%) ;

West Mercia (+5.67%) ;

Northern Ireland
(+4.47%) ;

Sussex
(+3.31%) ;

Gloucester
(-34.7%) ;

Nottinghamshire (-24.6 %) ;

Thames Valley
(-24.4%) ;

Avon and Somerset
(-20.6%) ;

Norfolk (-19%) ;

North Yorkshire (-16.9%) ;

Cheshire
(-16.6%) ;

Humberside (-15.3%) ;

Suffolk (-14%) ;

Surrey (-13.5%) ;

Northumbria
(-9%) ;

West Midlands (-1.4%) ;

Warwickshire (-0.8%).

Read the silicon.com
report here. 

It is always worth remembering that when companies lose
laptops or computers with data on the hard drives, they may consider that the
data is theirs, for which they often  glibly say is recoverable from backups, but
the identities they lose are yours.

 

This is the primary reason
for the massive increase in identity theft.

The companies and
organisations who hold your data, who keep it in non secure environments and
personnel who are carrying your identities on laptops must be made to be
responsible and liable for it. 

 

Say NO to ID Cards,
Say NO to the database state.

 

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About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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0 Responses to Huge increase in UK laptop thefts in 2006

  1. Anonymous says:

    Here in the US laptops are just as vulnerable. I see them sitting everywhere while people get up from tables at restaurants and leave them sitting unattended while they go tend to something else. They are left on seats of cars in plain site, the only thing missing is a sign on the car window with an arrow pointing down to it. Airports are prime locations. All you need is an empty black laptop bag and sit next to a business traveler and swap your bag for theirs.
    We need to start treating laptops like a wallet or purse. You wouldn't leave that lying around. Maybe if companies held individuals accountable for a laptop and you knew keeping your job depended on it, you would keep it much more protected.
    Simple changes to behavior would solve a majority of these thefts. Many of these are dissapearing with little or no effort on the part of the thieves. We can stop much of this, but a lack of awarenss coupled with lack of accountability makes for an easy target.
    I polled a group of 40 people about laptop security and only one knew of the locking port on the side of the laptop where you can insert a lock on a tether and literally cable your laptop to a fixed object. Granted if someone really wanted the laptop something like this is not the end all in security but they will create a racket and draw attention to themselves. A thiefs choice? Why bother with a hard target, I look elsewhere for an easier mark.
    Of course that is the simplest of measures and there are many more that go on down the line through data encryption, and those all need to be done as well, but why let it even get that far.