Travelling by air or hitting the road with a laptop, whether for work or a vacation, opens up a whole world of potential security concerns. However, all of these concerns are manageable. Always keep in mind that the weakest link in security is you, if you become careless or take undue risks.

Physical Security

Keeping your laptop data safe means protecting the laptop itself physically. Start by using a specially padded laptop bag or backpack, because using an ordinary backpack or book bag is inviting damage should your bag get into an accident. Traveling by land, sea, or air will always mean shoving and jostling bags into tight spots. Be extra careful and don’t advertise your laptop by getting a special bag or backpack that’s nondescript and without logos that advertise to potential thieves. Never ever put a laptop in sleep mode inside your bag because this will heat up and destroy the inside components. And most of all, always keep an eye on your laptop, especially at airports, seaports, and bus terminals. Never put it on an adjacent seat and get distracted.

Back it Up and Lock it Down

Always prepare for the worse and back up all important data and information in an external drive and keep that at home. If you need to, you can bring a separate external drive for backing up while on a trip, especially if the trip is work-related. You can also keep some data in the cloud so long as your subscription is secure. Now, since you know that your laptop contains much info like contact information of friends, family, and colleagues, personal photos, banking and tax records, perhaps sensitive information about your business, and in fact, enough personal information and photos to let someone steal your identity, then you need to protect yourself by locking it all down with a strong password and encryption.

Public will Always be Public

When you have no choice but to use public Wi-Fi networks especially when working from coffee shops or co-working office spaces, it’s easy to pick up viruses, malware, and data snoops.

Make sure you have up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware installed and running in the background. Keep your firewall up to block unsolicited connections to your PC. When connected to an unfamiliar network, it’s sometimes best to be paranoid and treat everything like the enemy. Going online for some last-minute holiday shopping or to check your bank account while you’re on the road might seem like a good idea, but uploading personal information to the Internet while using public Wi-Fi may be inviting potential trouble. If possible, wait until you’re on a secured network to do the sensitive stuff. If you really need to perform an online transaction, be sure the web address begins with “https” and that there’s a locked padlock icon at the corner of the browser window or in the address bar itself, indicating you’re connected to a secure site.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Friday, June 16, 2017 at 6:07:42 AM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

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