How common is computer theft? The 8th Annual BSI Computer Theft Survey has an eye opening list about the real threat computer theft possesses. Here are some of the more compelling findings of the survey:
- There were over 5,500,000 computers stolen in the USA in the last three years. Worldwide statistics are proportionally similar.
- According to the FBI, only 3% of unprotected (those that do not use a software tracking and recovery software) stolen computers are ever recovered.
- More than half (58.7%) of the survey respondents have been the victim of computer theft in the last 12 months.
- Laptops comprised more than two thirds (68%) of those devices reported stolen, followed by desktop computers (10%) and PDAs, iPods, iPhones, etc. (22%).
- Ninety-seven percent of survey respondents that experienced computer theft report the thief was never caught.
- Forty-six percent of respondents report the estimated value of proprietary data on their stolen computing device at $25,000 or less; 46.5 % estimated the value at between @25,000 and $1,000,000. ; 6.5% estimated the value at $1,000.000 or more and 1% estimated the value at more than $10,000,000.
It brings to mind the story of Francis Ford Coppola Losing 15 Years of Data in Burglary. Francis Ford Coppola is the legendary director of such films as The Godfather, The Godfather 2, and Apocalypse Now. On top of losing his personal data and 15 years of work it also put Tetro, the multi million dollar film he was working on at the time, in jeopardy.
Don't let what happened to Francis happen to you, backup your data and make sure you are insured! Most homeowners and rental policies will cover a computer up to a certain amount - but if you have a very expensive computer or peripherals, or if your data is vital to your livelihood, you should talk over additional coverage options with your agent!