Travel can be very tough on your laptop – you must exercise care when you will be traveling with this sensitive piece of equipment. If you are not well versed in how to ensure the safety of your computer while on the road, read on for some useful tips on keeping your machine safe.
1) Keep your laptop away from any potentially harmful items in your hotel room; for example, the magnets inside of television sets and radios.
2) Always take your laptop as a carry on item. Checking your laptop is extremely unwise – luggage is sometimes lost and rarely treated gently. If you can’t take your laptop as a carry on, leave it at home.
3) On transoceanic flights, you may want to be seated near the emergency exits if possible – in a Boeing 747, there will be an outlet by these doors where you can plug in your laptop and get some work done during your flight.
4) You should take the receipt for the purchase of your computer with you if you will be taking your laptop overseas. In the event that you are searched or questioned on the way in or out of a foreign country, this may come in handy.
5) Keep in mind that electrical outlets vary from country to country – find an adapter for your computer’s power cord, if needed. A travel agent or a colleague who has been to the country where you will be going before can tell you what sort of adapter, if any will be needed.
6) Charge your laptop’s battery before you leave on a trip. It may take a little time to fully charge, but you will appreciate having taken this step before departure.
7) Make a complete backup of your data before leaving on a trip. A lot of people have discovered the hard way that the data contained on a computer can be far more valuable than the computer hardware. Travel can out your data at risk, so always take this precaution before you travel. Windows 200 and later versions have built in backup software – if your network lacks the capacity to back up all of your files. Then use external drives, tape backups or CD/DVD-R media.
8) Off-line storage can be used to carry important documents. While backing up your data will help you recover once you return from your trip, this backup will do you little good while still on the road. However, you can make another backup on a portable drive which can fit right in your pocket for easy portability. This way, if something should happen to your computer while traveling, you can continue your work on any available computer.
9) A lot of these portable devices also support security measures like password protection and encrypted files, so you can keep your data secure even if this disk is lost or stolen. Iomega is a top choice for people on the go. They manufacture a lot of mobile solutions, including a new USB Zip Drive which holds up to 200MB. They also manufacture a pocket drive – which is a PCMCIA card which can hold 40MB. Imitation’s SuperDisk and Castlewood’s Orb Drive are also great portable drive choices. Obviously, you’ll want to keep these drives on you rather than in checked luggage while traveling. You can also encrypt and/or password protect these disks and have them delivered by courier to your destination for extra security.
10) People are usually the weakest link in the chain of computer security. To keep your data secure, think as if everyone is out to get your data. This will keep security at the forefront of your mind. Make sure to get into the habit of locking down your laptop with a cable when it is not in use. Try to keep your laptop in your sight at all times. While no security measure may be enough to stop a very determined thief or spy, making things difficult will generally make them move on to an easier target.
Traveling around the world safely with your laptop is possible. From the bright and sunny beaches to the long gorgeous mountain ranges, there are plenty of places that your laptop can go and with a few precautions, you will be sure to take your laptop with no problems.