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Schools and homes pose highest risk for laptop theft

Perhaps surprisingly however, public transport sites and airports came at the bottom of the top 10 risk list for portable computers.

The analysis, drawn from laptop security specialist Absolute Software's reports on missing computers, shows that the top ten places where laptops are stolen has schools and residential properties in first and second position, followed by cars and offices in third and fourth risk slots.

Universities and colleges were fifth, followed by hotels and motels in sixth position. Seventh slot was taken by restaurants and cafes, followed by stores and public malls.

According to Absolute Software, which says it recovers around 100 laptops a week using its Computrace service for businesses and LoJack laptop service for consumers, the risk of laptops being stolen from home is lot greater than many people think.

Mark Grace, vice president of consumer business with the firm, said that the trends in the annual report may surprise some computer owners. "According to our experience, consumers think 'it won't happen to me' and take chances. They often think of security issues only when they are on the move", he said.

Infosecurity notes that LoJack is a laptop tracking application that calls into Absolute Software's servers on a regular basis to announce its location and see if the machine has been reported as stolen.

LoJack firmware comes preinstalled in the BIOSes of laptops from several vendors, notably HP, Dell, Lenovo, Fujitsu, Panasonic, Toshiba and Asus machines.