7 Simple Tips for Securing Your Laptop While Traveling

7 Simple Tips for Securing Your Laptop While Traveling

The popularity of laptop computers stems from the fact that they’re so portable. You can slip them into a case and take them with you anywhere. Need to work on the plane or at a hotel? A laptop makes it easier to do than a mobile device.

With the mobility of a laptop computer, also comes the fact that it’s much more likely to be lost, stolen, or damaged than a standard desktop PC. It’s estimated that a laptop is stolen approximately every 53 secondsand during the lifetime of a laptop computer, there is a 1 in 10 chance of it being stolen.

Of course, theft is just one thing that can happen to your laptop while traveling. Thousands are left behind accidentally in airports every year, and during all that traveling, they’re much more likely to get dropped, bumped, and crushed than when using them at home or in your office.

Yet with all the risks to these portable PCs and the data they carry, company policies on laptop security are often lacking. A survey of company employees that experienced theft of their laptop showed that:

  • 34% of organizations don’t have a physical security policy in place for electronic assets.
  • 54% of those surveyed said they don’t use physical locks for their IT equipment.
  • 80% of respondents don’t use locks for other peripheral equipment, like projectors and detachable hard drives.

From laptop screen damage to loss of your computer all together, taking certain precautions can help protect your laptop while traveling and reduce your losses should anything happen to it.

Protect Your Laptop Digitally & Physically

Laptop protection tips come in two main categories: 1) Digital protection; and 2) Physical protection. While you may not be able to stop every threat to your laptop while it’s being taken from place to place, these tips will help you greatly reduce the risk of loss and lower the chance of laptop damage.

1. Use a Properly Padded Laptop Case (with Lock)

This tip covers both damage and theft protection. Instead of just tossing your laptop into your carryon bag, purchase a padded laptop case that has proper cushioning to reduce the chance of it jostling around or being damaged in the case of being dropped or sat on while in the case.

Additionally, buy a case that has a lock (or purchase a security cable designed for laptops) to help you secure the computer against thieves. If someone is in an airport looking to grab something quickly while you’re looking the other way, they’re more likely to pass by a locked case and grab an easier target.

2. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Connecting to free Wi-Fi comes with all types of security concerns. Avoid any potential hacks through an unsecure network by using a VPN to connect when you’re away from home or office. A VPN gives you a secure connection, even on free public Wi-Fis.

3. Back Up All Data Before You Travel

The average cost to a company from a lost laptop is $49,246. While the device itself isn’t likely to be worth that much, the bulk of the cost comes from loss of the data on the computer and whether any of that represents a serious data breach.

Make sure all data on your laptop is backed up and easily recoverable should your laptop become lost, stolen, or damaged.

4. Use Screen Lock

You don’t want someone to easily be able to access sensitive data on your laptop, so use a screen lock with password or passcode that comes up fairly quickly after a period of inactivity. (i.e. 5 minutes rather than 30 minutes).

5. Use Find My Device and Remote Lock

Both Windows and macOS have features that allow you to track your computer and lock it remotely. These features are incredibly helpful if you’re traveling and left your laptop behind in a restaurant because it allows you to geo locate the device and lock it remotely until you get there to retrieve it.

6. Make Sure You Have a Good Antivirus

Laptops need to have a good antivirus, just like a desktop computer. Windows 10 has a decent one built into the operating system and you can also ensure additional protection such as 24/7 monitoring for any threats through a Quantum Care PC protection plan.

7. Use Two-Factor Authentication for Logins

If someone gets their hands on your laptop, can they get into multiple accounts because you’re already logged in? When traveling, you need to take additional precautions when it comes to being logged in or having saved passwords in browsers.

It’s best to log out of any auto-logins (Gmail, Facebook, etc.) and put two-factor authentication in place to help prevent your accounts being compromised.

Broken Laptop Screen? We Can Help!

One of the common forms of damage to a laptop is a broken screen, but that doesn’t have to mean the end of your device. Quantum PC’s repair experts can affordably replace broken screens with high quality LCD panels, so your laptop is as good as new.

Contact us for any and all laptop repair needs! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.