Disappearing Laptops

I’m not sure exactly what this means but according to an outfit called the Ponemon Institute, more than 10,000 laptops are reported lost every month at the United States’ 36 largest airports with just 35% of them being reclaimed.  Another 2,000 are lost at middle-sized airports every month with just 31% reclaimed. 

According to my math, that’s a total of 12,000 lost laptops per month with 4,120 being reclaimed, or a net loss of 7,880 per month.  Multiply by 12 and you have a phenomenal total of 94,560 laptops going missing per year.  That’s a lot of computers!

According to Ponemon 77% of the unlucky laptop losers say they have "no hope" of recovering their property and 16% say they won’t even try. 

This report seems to ask more questions than it answers.

  • Where do all those missing laptops go?
  • Were they lost or were they stolen?
  • Given the high cost of the average laptop, why are so many people so lax in protecting their (or their company’s) investment?
  • With so many people having no hope of recovering their machine, does that mean that they haven’t bothered to record the serial number or engraved identifying information on this expensive piece of equipment?
  • Not to be overly-suspicious, but could some of those who "lost" their laptops, especially the ones who aren’t even going to try to get them back, be ready for an upgrade (at the cost of their insurance deductible)?

We’d be interested in hearing from anyone who’s lost their laptop at an airport or elsewhere to hear your thoughts.

Thanks to Trevor Cook at the Corporate Engagement blog from Sydney, Australia for the story lead.

Here’s some good information on protecting your laptop and your information.


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