1200 laptops lost each week at LAX

That’s not a mistake in the headline. I checked it twice.

By Christopher Null, Yahoo Tech

1,200 laptops a week go missing at Los Angeles International Airport, and 12,000 laptops are lost or stolen nationally at airports every week. All told, that means that 624,000 laptops go missing in airports each year. You can talk about phishing scams and email viruses until you’re blue in the face, but numbers like that put those digital computer crimes to shame.

Where do the laptops go? Exactly where you think: In their haste, fliers forget to put them back into their carry-on bag after they go through security checkpoint, where the rule for years has been that you have to remove your laptop completely from your luggage when you put it through the x-ray scanner.

TSA Agent looking at travelers pass through security checkpoints.Blame it on the harried and fragile mental state of the modern traveler, so rushed to get to his flight on time that key belongings are left behind. TSA often tries to alert passengers that they’ve left something behind — and it’s much more than just a bunch of laptops; wallets, belts, keys, and everything else is often forgotten — but that people rarely make it back once they’ve left the checkpoint.

Notes LA Weekly: “TSA screeners will page travelers by name when their identities are known. Still, [one] employee says, travelers will often later admit they heard their names on the public address system after leaving the security checkpoint — but somehow didn’t make the connection that they were being asked to recover lost items.” The story calls modern travelers universally “spaced-out.”

It’s a sobering statistic that only 33 percent of laptops left behind at security checkpoints are ever recovered, with just about half of those reunited with their owners before their flight takes off.

You aren’t without equipment in your arsenal to help recover a lost laptop. One pro suggests writing your name and phone number inside the battery compartment of your computer, where TSA agents are trained to look for identifying information. (Use a white china pencil for good results.) Another solution for the absent-minded is to try one of the new TSA-approved ScanFast by Mobile Edge, which let you leave your laptop inside your carry-on as it passes through the x-ray machine.

To read the full review click here.

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