The theft of a laptop from a Lincoln playgroup employee highlights the risk of keeping personal details on unencrypted discs, says supplier Origin Storage.
Although the thief was convicted after being identified by a witness, the laptop is still missing, according to the Lincolnshire Echo.
The laptop did not contain personal information about the children attending the playgroup, but it did contain financial information.
"Even if the hard drive of the notebook is reformatted, the data can be retrieved by anyone with technical knowledge," said Andy Cordial, managing director of Origin.
In most cases, thieves attempt only a cursory deletion of documents on a laptop before selling it on, he said.
According to Cordial, there is no longer any excuse for not encrypting data stored on laptops as the associated costs have fallen significantly.