RICHLAND, Wash. - A report from the United States Commerce Department shows more than a 1,000 laptop computers have turned up missing in the last five years.
Officials report that almost 250 of the missing computers had personal information on them including social security numbers.
A local computer expert said that even if your laptop is protected by a password thieves can still get to your information and said it is easier than you think.
Joel Cline owns Cline Computers. He said,"More and more information is available online for people who are new to computers altogether, self taught, get in there and break the passwords."
Cline said to protect your computer by keep it locked up. He even encourages parents to buy desktops rather than laptops for their teens living for college because they are stolen so much.
He said thieves are constantly thinking of new ways to get around computer security.
The government said they do not know of any stolen personal information from any of the missing computers.