Tips to Keep Your Laptop and Data Safe While Travelling

Summer is here – about time too! – and some of you will no doubt be planning to take your laptop with you on vacation. Below are some steps you can take to keep your laptop – and the data it holds – safe during your trip.

1. Use a security cable. Using a security cable will make it considerably harder for somebody to walk away with your laptop during periods when it’s left unattended. Cables such as the Targus DEFCON Cable Lock ($49.73) are made of cut-resistant steel and enable you to anchor your laptop via its lock-slot to a secure object. 


2. Use a laptop backpack. Handheld laptop cases or sleeves make it extremely obvious that a valuable item is inside and are easily snatched. A backpack such as the Gino Ferrari Inca Laptop Backpack ($99.99) makes it less obvious what’s inside. Additionally, because a backpack is wearable, you’ll not need to put it down at times when you need to use your hands (during airline check-ins, for example), and so it’s less likely to be snatched by an opportunistic thief or forgotten about. 


3. Use a screen filter. When using your laptop in a public area, it’s easy for a person sitting close to you to peek at whatever is on your screen (it’s referred to as shoulder surfing). If you’re just watching a movie, shoulder surfers may simply be a minor annoyance; but if you’re working with sensitive data, they can be much more of a concern. Screen filters such as the 3M GOLD Privacy Filter ($59.99) solve this problem by making it impossible for your screen to be viewed from an angle. When the filter is in place, you’ll still be able to see your screen perfectly clearly, but it will appear darkened to anybody attempting to view it from the side.


 4. Beef-up your security. A comprehensive security solution such as Kaspersky PURE Total Security 2.0 ($89.96) will help keep your data safe during your trip. Its comprehensive two-way firewall, application activity filter and antivirus scanner will protect your laptop from hackers – especially when you’re using wireless hotspots. Additionally, it will enable you to encrypt your files so that, if the worst does happen and your laptop is lost or stolen, nobody else will be able to access your data.

In addition to the above, remember not leave your laptop visible in your vehicle – the trunk is a much safer place. And if the weather is hot, don’t leave it (or your kids or pets!) in the vehicle at all as heat can cause serious damage. It’s also a good idea to attach a sticker to your laptop with your contact information and a note that there will be a reward if it’s returned (no questions asked). Finally, be sure to password-protect your laptop. Here’s how to do it in Windows and in OS X.

Safe travels!
Rhonda Callow is an award-winning freelance blogger and editor who has worked with numerous leading high-tech companies. She also helps companies with their public relations and social media management. Rhonda is a photography enthusiast and enjoys camping and hiking with her family during her free time. You can follow Rhonda on Twitter (@rhondacallow) or contact her at [email protected].

Traveling family w/ electronics in Airport image property of goodncrazy on Flickr, used under CC Attribution license.

By Adam

July 18, 2012