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Airports a major threat to laptops

According to recent studies, about 16,000 laptop computers are lost or stolen in airports in the United States and Europe EVERY WEEK. That translates into nearly 900,000 per year and, according to the studies conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of Dell, about 60 percent of the laptops are never recovered or reclaimed.

The Ponemon Institute first released results about U.S. airports in late June, reporting that more than 12,000 laptops per week are lost or stolen at major and medium-sized U.S. airports. Similarly, the study released last week indicated that nearly 4,000 laptops disappear each week from airports in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa — with the highest numbers reported missing at London Heathrow (900), Amsterdam Schiphol (750), and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (733).

One might be suspicious of these studies since they were commissioned by Dell and announced at the same time they introduced new asset and data protection services. However, even if they are exaggerated, the statistics still underscore the importance of knowing how to protect your laptop computer and the data it holds while traveling, especially during this time of the year when so many are taking vacations.

About Harvard Townsend (harv@ksu.edu)

Chief Information Security Officer
One thought on “Airports a major threat to laptops
  1. And, then if it isn’t lost or stolen….customs can seize your computer and other electronics without needing to justify whether they think its connected to terrorism or not.

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