Laptops have become a permanent appendage for many travelers today, as they are taken along on trips for both business and pleasure. The size, portability and perceived value of a laptop also make them a keen prospect for thieves when you are on the road. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to keep your laptop, as well as the information it contains, safe and sound, no matter where your travels may take you.
Choose Passwords Wisely
The choice of password makes all the difference in the security of your computer data when you are on the road. Incorporate numbers and symbols into your password and check your password strength at the Microsoft website. Never keep your password in your computer bag – it’s like keeping your keys in the car.
Carry Equipment Inconspicuously
Instead of carrying your laptop through airports and train stations in an obvious laptop bag brazenly embellished with the name of your computer manufacturer, choose an inconspicuous means of storage instead. A suitcase or briefcase with sufficient padding is just the trick for carrying your precious computer equipment securely. Also, heavy-duty hard laptop cases can be good both for protecting your laptop from damage while traveling, and safety, since they often have locks, making them less of an easy target for thieves.
Utilize a Screen Guard
If you plan to work on your laptop in a public place while traveling, a screen guard may be a valuable investment. For a few dollars, you can rest assured sensitive information will remain confidential when you are working at airports, train stations or other public venues.
Tag It Carefully
Find a way to personalize your computer that is not easily changed by thieves, such as etching your name and address into the hardware or attaching a metal plate with your identifying information. It is also a good idea to add photo ID tags to the computer and the case, with a second tag in an internal pocket for good measure.
Add Tracing Capabilities
This may be one of the most important steps you can take if your laptop is actually stolen. A tracing service provides valuable information about your computer to law enforcement organization in the event of theft, and often results in the return of the device. Services also allow the owner of the laptop to retrieve filed remotely or delete sensitive information.
Lock it Up
Locking devices are invaluable in hotel rooms and other public places where you must use your laptop. These laptop locking devices come with a T-bar mechanism that effectively locks computer hardware to tables or desks. When you don’t have a hotel safe large enough for your laptop, this could be another option for securing it when you are gone.
Keep a Backup Handy
Always back up files before traveling to ensure your sensitive information is safe and sound. Bring a second source with you when you travel, such as a CD or flash drive so the information you are carrying is always with you, even if your laptop meets with tragic circumstances on your travels.
Keeping a laptop safe on the road is a concern for many travelers today. With these tips, you can rest assured your hardware – and the information contained within – is as safe and secure as possible.