Predicted rise in theft of laptops coincides with holiday period

The summer months could see the highest rate of laptop thefts in any period this year as criminals take advantage of houses sitting empty with portable storage devices and computers in plain sight whilst owners are on holiday, according to laptop security experts.

Laptop tracking firm Absolute Software has released a stark warning after surveying over 62,000 people from the UK, Europe and North America in relation to laptop security and theft. In the UK the figures show that about 33 per cent of all laptop thefts occur whilst the computer is left at home and Absolute fears that this can only increase as the summer kicks off in earnest.

A home in the UK is the worst place to leave a laptop, according to the survey, which found that while a third of all thefts occurred at home for British users, this figure is much lower elsewhere, with Canadian laptop owners only having computers stolen from their homes in 17 per cent of cases. France was closer to the UK with 22 per cent, although there is still a significant divide.

Data loss scandals involving laptops highlighted by the media when high profile loss or theft occurs in public places when the portable nature of the technology is being exploited. As such, Absolute Software’s Dave Everitt believes that the findings of the survey will be a shock to many UK citizens, who might have previously been concerned with laptop security only when out and about.

Mr Everitt suggests that UK laptop owners will need to take greater care to secure all of their portable storage devices if they are planning a trip this summer, with the simple act of locking it in a secure location minimising the chances of theft. He also says that preventing data loss from stolen laptops can be easier if software allowing remote locking or deletion of data is installed. Such software could, in some cases, even lead to the apprehension of the guilty parties.

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