7 Easy Ways to Protect Your Laptop During Travel

Anyone like myself who runs a home-based business knows that your computer is your workspace. It contains everything you use for work, and you alone oversee its management. Protecting your laptop is essential to protecting your income.

At home, this isn’t a huge concern because you’re in a controlled environment, and you can minimize how much you have to move things around. But when you travel and your workspace comes with you, it’s a whole other story.

One of the benefits of working from home is you can actually work from anywhere. One of the drawbacks could be a massive laptop failure when you’re away. Follow the tips below and you’ll greatly reduce the chances of the latter putting your business on hold while you’re on the road.

Back Up Your Files Before Leaving Home

If you haven’t gotten a portable hard drive, it’s highly recommended before traveling. The likelihood of your laptop being stolen, lost or broken increases when you leave home. While that may not be good news for your machine, you can at least ease the stress by knowing all of your data isn’t lost. If damage occurs, you can always use a laptop data recovery service to recover files, but when a computer goes missing the data is gone for good.

For the best coverage, opt to backup your entire operating system. This will basically put your entire laptop on the hard drive. If anything should happen, you can still move everything over to a new computer if needed.

Run Diagnostics to Check for Hardware and Software Issues

Failures can occur anywhere, and they’re never convenient. But when it happens while you’re on the road it can completely derail all work. Before you leave home, run diagnostics on your laptop to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Virtually all laptops today come with built-in testing tools to help consumers keep tabs on their hardware and software. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself or, don’t know how you can get a data specialist to do it for you. Some companies even provide complimentary diagnostic testing.

You’ll be able to identify and correct potential issues before they become a big problem. However, before using a service or changing things on your own make sure the work won’t void your warranties.

Download Location Software Before Leaving

Fortunately, there are a plenty of software solutions for locating a lost laptop. LoJack for Laptops and Find My Mac are two of the frontrunners in location software. It doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be reunited with your laptop, but at least you can find out where it is if it goes missing.

Up the Security on Your Laptop

Now is a good time to update security measures within your laptop. Cover all of the basics, including:

  • Make sure the security software is up-to-date and activated.
  • Consider changing your password to something more secure.
  • Turn the lock screen feature on.
  • Download browser extensions that protect your privacy while you’re on the web.

Keep It in Your Carry-on

We’ve all heard the horror stories of bags getting lost and items mysteriously going missing from bags after they’re checked at an airport. Just recently thousands of travelers flying out of the Phoenix airport got separated from their luggage due to a TSA computer error. But they were lucky they got their luggage back. Every year thousands of bags go missing, and the owners never see them again.

Ultimately, the only way to make sure your laptop is protected when you’re flying is to keep it with you at all times in your carry-on. Another concern is environmental factors. Depending on the time of year and location, checked bags could be exposed to extreme heat, cold or moisture that can damage your laptop.

Invest in a Good Computer Case

One of the top reasons laptop problems occur is because the computer gets bumped and banged. They’re designed to be portable and somewhat impact-resistant, but they still have to be handled with care. You can still use a data recovery service if there’s damage, but you may not be able to use your computer during the trip.

A good computer case that has adequate padding and lots of pockets for securing accessories is a sound investment. For as little as $25-30 you can significantly decrease the odds of your laptop failing because it was jostled around. You can step up the security by purchasing a bag that comes with a locking mechanism.

Be Extremely Cautious on Public Wi-Fi

Probably the biggest danger of working remotely is using a public Wi-Fi network. It’s much easier to hack into laptops using public Wi-Fi than many people realize. One solution is to use a reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN). This will secure and encrypt your Internet communication when you’re on a public network.


Nate Ritter lives in Austin, Texas (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

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