Posted by: snukoantitheft | March 18, 2011

Crimes Committed as a result of Lost or Stolen Laptops and Mobiles

With laptop and mobile thefts on the rise in countries across the globe, even the FBI and Navy are vulnerable to such attacks. But what happens to the data that is stolen from devices? What crimes can be committed?

Even such esteemed organizations like the FBI and the United States Navy cannot escape the threat of a stolen laptop or mobile device. In spite of taking all safety measures, laptops and mobile phones are small, easily portable and extremely lightweight, making them extremely easy targets for professional thieves or even amateurs who are on the lookout to make a quick buck.

Once stolen, the data stored in the device could either be carelessly deleted by the thief, or it could be sold to an adversary for a huge amount. Yes laptop and mobile phone thefts have become one of the major causes of security breach and identity theft. Theft of mobile devices can lead to breach of confidential and sensitive secrets. Privileged communications can be easily revealed by thieves who are eager to expose undisclosed information. Here, we will explore the dilemma that is faced by people when laptops or mobile phones are stolen for the data that is contained within them.

Firstly, anytime a laptop or mobiles device (especially if it is a high profile one) is stolen, the owner of the device is most likely going to have to face an identity theft concern. Even when disposing off your laptop, it is important to wipe the hard drive clean and erase files or reformat the hard drive or even overwrite the data.

Today, everybody depends on computers and Smartphone’s to get along with their daily lives. Most people are required to carry laptops to work, while many others require Smartphone’s to stay connected with friends, family and business clients. Unfortunately, this high dependence on technology has led to a higher crime rate, which in turn leads to greater consequences. Here are a few instances of how laptop or mobile theft can have a negative impact on its victims:

  • Theft at Academic Institutions: Crime stoppers across the world have been faced with an increasing number of laptop and mobile theft related cases at university and academic settings. Most cases of theft take place at school libraries, where students tend to leave their devices unattended while looking for books and other resources. Many students have had to face thefts in their dorm rooms, what with thieves making off with their precious phones and laptops during parties. The consequences of thefts at academic institutions are innumerable. Victims have reported losing almost all their data and research-related work that cannot be recovered ever.
  • Identity Theft: Identity theft is probably one of the direst consequences of laptop or Smartphone theft that can wreck havoc on your credit rating for many years to come. Unfortunately, the problem of identity theft cannot be limited to particular setting. It is a huge problem and is growing rapidly. Never leave your phone or laptop unattended in public areas, as this will make you more vulnerable to attacks. Also, refrain from conducting any private or financial business transaction on your phone or laptop in public areas, as fraudsters can read your vital information easily.
  • Smartphone Thefts: Another growing problem, Smartphone thefts have become highly problematic what with criminals literally snatching these devices away from the owner in subways and other mass transit settings. Criminals tend to target unsuspecting users who are not paying attention to their surrounding, as this makes it easier for them to grab a mobile and make a run for it in the crowd. Always be more attentive when travelling in a subway or metro.

This article however, cannot even begin to cover the whole gamut of crimes committed with the data received from laptop thieves. Apart from selling information to adversaries, thieves can also be exposed to your confidential information like your social security number, bank account details, address, etc. So, if you do not have a backup or if you have not taken the necessary precautions by implementing a safe and effective anti-theft device like Snuko, then you are going to be faced with 2 major problems – you won’t have access to your data, but the wrong person will have access to it!