One of the benefits of using a laptop is its portability. If you travel for business and don’t want to sit in an internet cafe, a laptop can offer you convenience and flexibility. However, like most electronics, laptops are sensitive to impact and could be stolen if they’re new or highly valued.
How to Secure Your Laptop While You Travel
Whether you’re traveling for work or leisure, laptop security can offer you peace of mind and allow you to enjoy yourself.
Here are a few ways to secure your laptop while traveling.
1. Ask Yourself if You Really Need Your Work Laptop
There are plenty of reasons why you need your laptop on the plane. However, if you just need the information on the laptop and not the computer itself, consider other alternatives. For example, you could upload your data to the Cloud or save your work on a USB or hard drive.
2. Backup Your Data to a Hard Drive Before Traveling
If you decide to bring your laptop, backup all of your data to an external hard drive you’ll keep at home. If you don’t want anyone to access some of the data on your laptop, lock it down with a strong password. Encrypt any data you keep on your computer in case it gets stolen.
3. Use Unique Stickers to Instantly Identify Your Laptop
When going through airport security, there’s a possibility you may mix up your laptop for another and take the wrong one. To prevent this from happening, apply unique holographic die-cut stickers to the front of your computer, so you’ll be able to see your laptop from far away.
4. Keep Your Laptop in a Secured, Padded Backpack
You’ll have no problem finding padded laptop bags at most stores, but if you want to work on the plane or bring your computer everywhere, use a padded backpack. Bags like PacSafe are virtually thief-proof and hold all of your computer items, like chargers, mice, and headphones.
5. Protect Your Laptop From Humidity and High Voltage
In hot countries, humidity and high heat can cause problems for your laptop. In some foreign countries, you may need a voltage stabilizer to act as a protective shield against malfunctions. Always bring a hygrometer (to measure humidity) and a voltage stabilizer, just to be safe.
6. Purchase Basic or Travel Insurance for Your Laptop
Retailers like Office Depot, Staples, and Dell offer coverage for laptops, which cover accidental damages, theft, and loss. Keep in mind that most travel insurance is limited to 90 days and covers up to $400 in damages unless you purchase add-on insurance, which may be pricey.
7. Invest in a Kensington Carbon Steel Laptop Lock
Laptop locks are more of a deterrent than a safety measure, but a carbon steel Kensington lock will also make it nearly impossible for thieves to steal your computer. A thief won’t be able to cut the cables or wrench your laptop out of the wall, but they can still steal your data.
8. Never Use Public WiFi Without a VPN or Encryption
Most travelers take advantage of free WiFi that’s available in airports, bus stations, and cafes, but be careful. Unless you have a VPN to encrypt your IP address and antivirus software, a malicious actor could upload viruses or malware to your computer and steal your information.
9. Keep Your Eyes on Your Laptop at All Times
The best way to prevent laptop theft is by staying vigilant. If you’re sitting at your computer when it’s open or gripping your laptop bag or backpack when it isn’t, you’re less likely to be targeted. Never walk away from your computer when it’s on or leave your bag in a public place.