Lo-Jack For Laptops?

More than 600,000 laptops disappear in airports in the U.S. every year. Some may have your personal data. Dell has a solution to that problem.

The problem with laptops seeming to grow legs and walk away from their owners dominates the minds of IT administrators and the public alike. After all, maybe your personal data was sitting on that laptop that was stolen, lost or otherwise misplaced, which could mean major disruption of your life or even identity theft.

After a hair-raising study with the Poneman Institute found just how bad laptop loss in airports alone can be, Dell announced new data protection services designed to help catch lost laptops and eras the data.

Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) is expanding its ProSupport service to include Asset Protection Services and Data Protection Services for laptop users, giving them a single point of contact. A Dell customer can look to the company for service, support, and data protection/loss prevention, said Suzanne Atkinson, services architect in Dell Global Services.

"The trend toward mobility is increasing," she told InternetNews.com. "Companies are looking at mobility as a way to increase productivity. So we wanted to help companies realize those benefits, but at the same time realize the risk associated with mobility."

Under the Asset Protetion Services, there will be laptop tracking and recovery, so once the lost laptop connects to the Internet, Dell immediately tracks its IP address and tries to find the user. Also included is a repair or replacement plan for accidentally damaged systems and an additional replacement battery during the system's limited warranty period, up to three years.

Dell's latest service is aimed at easing some of the problems that the Poneman Institute found in its survey of lost laptops. Take the airport examples.

Poneman checked with 106 Class B– the largest ones, like JFK in New York, LAX in Los Angeles and SFO in San Francisco – and Class C airports – midmarkets, like San Jose, Austin, Texas or Providence, RI – in 46 states. It then spoke with 864 regular business travelrs.

What it found was unnerving even to Larry Poneman, founder and CEO of the company. More than 12,000 laptops are lost every week, the bulk of them in the Class B airports. Class B airports only made up 36 of the 106 airports in the survey but saw 10,278 of the 12,255 lost laptops.

The survey found 1,200 alone were lost every week in Los Angeles International Airport, 1,000 a week lost in Miami International and 900 in Kennedy. Among Class C, it's probably no surprise that San Jose's Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport had the highest number of lost laptops at 211 per week. Mineta is much closer to the Silicon Valley than SFO to the north.

Of that number, 637,000 lost laptops every year, only 33 percent are claimed. The other two-thirds are never seen again, either getting disposed of or perhaps going home with an airport employee. Maybe that's why laptop sales are booming – the replacement rate is so high.

This article was first published on InternetNews.com. To read the full article, click here.






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