7 Laptop Security tips for the Traveler
- Bag it. Keep the laptop in a sturdy bag that’s specially designed for laptops. The sleeve should be well-padded and the bag TSA-compliant. The bag should be collapsible and expandable (depending on contents), and easy to wear near your body for extended periods.
- Don’t part with it. Pretend your laptop is a baby. In public, you wouldn’t leave your baby unattended while you went to the restroom or moved around in your location. Likewise, take your laptop with you wherever you go in public, even if it’s just one aisle over.
- Hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign. If you must leave your laptop in your hotel room when you’re out, put up the “Do Not Disturb” sign. The fewer people in your room, the less likely your laptop will be stolen. You can also put the laptop in the hotel’s safe, though that’s no guarantee of security, either.
- Use a cable lock. Though a persistent thief won’t be deterred by this in a setting where nobody will notice him, it can indeed keep him at bay if the laptop is in a busy public place. Find out if your company provides cable locks. Otherwise, you can purchase them online.
- Software leash. A stolen or misplaced laptop can be located with software. For best results in the event your laptop gets stolen or lost, register with one of these anti theft tracking services prior to your trip. MyLaptopGPS is good.
- Don’t be nice. Yes, don’t be nice enough to let a stranger use your laptop.
- Use a VPN. VPN stands for virtual private network, and it’s very effective at providing data security when you use a laptop in public (airport, coffee house, hotel) where the network is open season all season for hackers. You’ll be protected when you’re on any site. Ask if your company can give you a VPN when you travel. Use Hotspot Shield.