Are you at risk of computer theft?

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!

Survey: Americans flunking insurance

Most Americans flunk when it comes to basic insurance knowledge, according to a recent survey conducted for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Despite this, about 56% of the survey respondents felt “very confident” about making insurance decisions. In a 10-question insurance quiz, the average score was a dismal 40%.
But wait – before you learn more about the results of the survey, why not take the insurance IQ Test yourself and see how you fare?
Having a basic knowledge of insurance can mean the difference between overpaying for coverage and saving money. Misconceptions can also mean that a buyer doesn’t secure adequate coverage to protect them in the event of a loss. For example, only 4 in 10 respondents knew that auto insurance doesn’t automatically cover a rental car and only 14% were aware of the amount of life insurance that is typically recommended.
Given the test results, it is fortunate to learn that 61% of the respondents said that they use an insurance agency when purchasing insurance outside of employment. And we were happy to hear that 80% of the respondents said they had a good relationship with their agent and that 82% trust their agent to help them make the right choices.
Survey results: Executive Summary (PDF)