If you can’t lock it down, make sure you lock it up this Easter

02 April 2015

New data from SGIC Insurance has revealed portable electronic and storage devices are the most common items stolen from NSW and ACT households, highlighting the risk of personal data being accessed or used by thieves after a robbery.

SGIC Insurance spokesperson Hannah Dunn said the company’s claims data showed over 2,600 notebooks, tablets and computer accessories had been stolen from NSW and ACT SGIC Insurance customers over the last financial year and is reminding families to secure their homes this long weekend*.

“This figure represents a 30 per cent increase of the number of notebooks, tablets and computer accessories stolen during the same period three years ago.

“With thousands of families heading away for Easter, we’re reminding everyone to lock up their homes before they head out, regardless of whether they’re leaving the house for five minutes or going away for a few days.

“Our latest claims data shows burglars are also targeting portable and lightweight storage devices such as external hard drives and flash drives, so we’re encouraging the use of security measures on portable devices, such as password protection or encryption.

“We are becoming increasingly dependent on portable electronic devices to store personal information, so it’s more important than ever to make sure we are taking steps to keep not only our personal belongings safe, but our data too,” said Ms Dunn.

In recent years NRMA Insurance claims data shows that burglars consistently target easy to grab items as they tend to be light to carry and easy to pawn.

How to help keep your home and portable electronic devices secure:

  • Lock the house and turn on the alarm every time you go out
  • If you’re going away ask a neighbour to keep an eye on the house and collect the mail
  • Don’t leave tell-tale packaging for big ticket items – tear it up and put it in the recycling bin
  • Keep your home looking lived in with open blinds and timer switches on lights
  • Never leave a message on your answering machine saying you’re not home
  • Review your social media privacy settings and think twice before posting updates or pictures of your whereabouts
  • Keep your car keys safe and not in any obvious places – burglars will steal your car
  • Secure garages and garden sheds and remove valuables from your garden
  • Create passwords for your phones, tablets, laptops and computers and encrypt where possible
  • Turn on all security features on your mobile devices
  • Install applications used to help locate your phone, laptop or tablet
  • Lock away any portable electronic items you leave at home when going away

The top 10 stolen items from NSW and ACT:

  1. Notebooks
  2. Tablets
  3. Computer accessories e.g. external hardrive, USBs, phone covers and printers.
  4. Mobile Phones (3G and 4G)
  5. MP3 players
  1. Compact digital cameras
  2. Jewellery and watches
  3. Digital SLR cameras
  4. Televisions
  5. Sunglasses and glasses

*Based on SGIC Insurance claims data for Financial Year 2013–2014.

Media hotline number: 02 9292 9742