Laptop and PDA losses still a major problem

A new survey of London taxi drivers, carried out by Credant Technologies, indicates that 55,843 mobile phones and 6,193 other devices, such as laptops, have been left in the back of black cabs over the past six months. This is consistent with a survey carried out a few years ago by Pointsec, which showed that in the last half of 2004, 63,135 mobiles, 5,838 PDAs and 4,973 laptops were left behind in London taxis.

Clearly the huge amount of publicity surrounding laptop losses has had little impact on the size of the problem. Of course, there might be more laptops being carried in taxis today. And perhaps the more cautious behaviour of some is being undermined by more cavalier behaviour by those who now have encrypted devices. But the figures are unacceptable.

My experience in Royal Mail at driving down laptop losses through root cause analysis and targeted education demonstrates that big reductions in losses can be achieved. Organisations are failing to address this problem adequately. If you’re losing more than 1% of your laptops a year, then you should take immediate action to improve staff awareness and discipline. It’s not that difficult.