While you’re travelling, it’s tempting to leave your laptop at home because you know that it’ll be safe and secure in your home, but won’t it make you feel anxious if it’s not with you?
Even if you’re not going for a work trip, there might be certain “work emergencies” that may happen while you’re out of town, not to mention that you can also use it for other important things such as looking for guides, or entertainment purposes.
If you’ve finally decided to bring your laptop with you, here are some precautions that you can always take to make sure that it’s safe while you travel. Listed below are some laptop security tips:
1. Invest In A Laptop Bag
Secure your laptop in general, not just from thieves, but also from other mundane things that could occur during its transportation. It could bump into a lot of things while you’re at the airport, or you can squeeze it too tight which may cause it to crack or get scratches.
Make sure that you secure your laptop in a laptop bag with proper cushioning system. Don’t go for bold laptop bag designs as you’d want to make it look inconspicuous as much as possible. You would also want to go for a laptop bag that has tamper-resistant zippers and those that are made up of fabric that’s slash-proof. If you travel often, opt to invest in a laptop bag that allows you to go in and out of the security without having to take out your laptop. Remember – always keep your laptop near you, or within your sight at all times.
The people at Hove Laptop Repairs consider this to be the first step to securing your laptop on your travels.
2. Keep It Safe At The Hotel
If you’re on a vacation, you can’t just take carry your laptop around with you at all times. If you’re going to leave it in your hotel room, it’s best that you hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign so the housecleaning won’t barge into your room while you’re away. It’s true, your room won’t be as clean as you wanted it to be, but you’re most likely to find your laptop sitting right where you left it.
3. Buy A Security Cable Lock
A security cable lock is one of those cheap investments that you can make – similarly works as a lock for your bicycle. The way it works is that you place the loop around a fixed object which is connected to your laptop. You can find one that comes with either a combination code or a key.
If budget isn’t an issue, you can also opt for modern cable lock systems, some of them even come with an alarm and motion sensor system functions. When someone tries to steal your laptop, it will trigger the alarm letting you know that someone’s trying to take it from its place.
4. Get A Travel Insurance Policy
Many people tend to forget that while they’re travelling, unforeseen circumstances may happen; and getting a travel insurance policy is one of the best investments that you could make. When looking for a travel policy insurance, go for ones that offer coverage for loss and theft of your personal belongings. Ensure that the amount covered in your policy is enough to cover buying a new laptop. You can also opt for a travel rewards credit card.
5. Install An Antivirus Software
When you’re travelling, you’ll be connecting to unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks, making you prone to security breaches. Make sure that you have updated antivirus software and that it’s running in the background when you’re connecting to public Wi-Fi networks such as those in the hotel and at the airport.
As much as possible, avoid logging in to online banking websites or shopping sites where you’ll require to input banking and/or credit card details. Always browse on a secure connection (https:// and a padlock icon).
6. Consider Using A VPN
A VPN or a virtual public network is another investment that you’d want to make when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. This helps you encrypt all information that you’re sending out and receiving from your device. VPN services also allow you to access some websites that aren’t made available to a certain location.
7. Your Laptop Needs A Theft Recovery Software
With a theft recovery software, there are greater chances of getting your laptop back. This allows you to track your laptop’s location, which you can use to report to the local authorities. Investing in a good thief recovery software works even if the thief has tried to remove all data and installed a new OS.
8. Take Note Of Your Laptop’s Details
Write down your laptop’s specifications, model, make, and even serial number somewhere safe. This will be helpful in case you’ll need to make a report if your laptop is stolen. You may also want to take the latest photos of your laptop, focusing on identifying marks and/or scratches or other details.
9. Always Backup Your Files
Most often than not, the information, files and other contents of your laptop are way more precious than the laptop itself. Just in case theft happens, make sure that all important files are backed up either on the cloud or on an external drive.
If you feel that some sensitive files won’t be needed for the trip, back them up and delete the copy from your laptop. This way, you don’t have to worry about those files being accessed by other people just in case of theft.
10. Turn On Data Encryption Feature
Your laptop may carry sensitive information like your home address, personal contact details, your boss’ number, banking details, personal photos and even your IDs. If all of these things fall into the wrong hands, they can be used to steal your identity.
To make sure that this doesn’t happen, always make sure that your data is encrypted, followed by the use of strong passwords.
You can also opt for full-disk encryption – this means that all data that are stored in your laptop is protected. Some people find it to be too much unless your work involves a lot of sensitive information. If you don’t want to encrypt the entire drive, you can just choose certain folders or files to encrypt. Common applications like Microsoft Office, Evernote, and even Dropbox, give you the option to encrypt certain files and you can set specific passwords for those files.
Make sure that you don’t use generic passwords. Use strong ones that have a combination of both lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters and/or symbols. Use a password management software or write it down and keep it safe and secure, away from your laptop.