Travelers Leave 12,000 Laptops In Airports Every Week

Absentminded travelers flummoxed by airport security leave 12,000 laptops in airports every single week. Only 30% are ever recovered.

The Ponemon study indicates that most airport laptop losses occur at the security checkpoints or at the departure gates, where it’s easy to leave things behind. More than 70 percent of business travelers say they feel rushed when trying to get on their flights, and 69 percent said they are usually carrying too many items while trying to catch their flights.

Los Angeles’s LAX reported more laptop losses than any other airport, about 1,200 per week. Most of the airports said they generally keep the laptops for some period of times, then destroy them if they are unclaimed.

Sixty-five percent of the business travelers admit that they do not take steps to protect the confidential information contained on their laptops when traveling on business, according to the study. Forty-two percent say they don’t back up their data before going on a trip. Fewer than 20 percent of respondents said they have whole disk encryption or file encryption on their machines.

Interestingly, only 1 percent of the respondents admitted personally losing a laptop computer. However, 84 percent say they know someone who has lost a laptop while traveling on business.

The UK’s The Real Hustle shows how security checkpoints offer thieves an unrivaled opportunity to poach laptops from unsuspecting travelers:

Next time you travel, keep an eye and hand on your laptop. And don’t be ashamed to admit if it’s stolen. Clearly, you’re not alone.

Laptop Losses Total 12,000 Per Week at US Airports [Dark Reading]
The Real Hustle – The Airport X-Ray Steal [YouTube]
(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.