Are you getting ready to go on a business trip that will require you to bring your laptop along with you? Or are you preparing to go on vacation and planning on traveling with a laptop to keep yourself busy until you reach your final destination?
Either way, it’s important for you to make the proper preparations to ensure that your laptop stays safe throughout the duration of your travels. If you don’t plan ahead, you could very well put your laptop and everything that you keep on it in harm’s way.
You will, of course, need to make sure that you have a sturdy laptop bag that you can use to carry your laptop around. The bag should be equipped with more than enough padding to prevent your laptop from breaking if you happen to drop it as you travel.
But there are also all kinds of other steps you should take to provide your laptop with the protection it needs. This guide to traveling with a laptop should help.
Back-Up Everything You Store on Your Laptop Before Leaving Home
When traveling with a laptop, there is always a chance that it could be lost or stolen.
Fingers crossed, you won’t have to worry about either of these things happening. But when it comes to your laptop and everything that you have on it, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Before leaving home with your laptop, you should back up every single piece of data that you have on it. From your important documents and your photos to your music and your various programs, everything should be backed up on an external hard drive.
This way, you won’t have to deal with losing everything on your laptop if it goes missing for one reason or another. You can load a new laptop up with everything that was on your old one in a hurry and get things back to normal again.
Remove Any Confidential Data From Your Laptop Prior to Traveling With It
Do you have things stored on your laptop that you do not want to fall into the wrong hands? From banking information to risque photos, people store all kinds of things on their laptops these days.
If you want to make sure that someone else isn’t able to access them, you should remove them from your computer altogether before boarding a plane for a business trip or setting sail on a cruise for a vacation.
Take Advantage of Hard Drive Encryption on Your Laptop
While it’s a good idea to remove anything that you don’t want other people to be able to get from your laptop while traveling with it, you obviously don’t want to have to wipe your hard drive clean. There are things you’ll want to be able to get on your laptop during your travels.
But at the same time, you don’t want others to be able to go sifting through your hard drive if they find or steal your laptop. It’s why you should take advantage of your ability to encrypt your hard drive.
By doing this, you’ll make it very difficult for someone to gain access to your laptop’s hard drive without a password. Just make sure you select a password that won’t be easy for someone to guess.
Put Any Data From Your Laptop That You’ll Need on a Trip on a USB Drive
If you’re taking a business trip and bringing your laptop with you, it’s likely because there are things on your laptop that you’ll need for the trip. It’s essential for you to be able to get to those things so that your business trip is a success.
But what is going to happen if your laptop is lost or stolen while you travel? You won’t be able to get to the PowerPoint presentations or the other files that you need to use on your business trip.
Avoid having this happen to you by sticking any data that you need for your trip onto a USB drive. Keep that USB drive stored in your carry-on bag or in another piece of luggage that is not your laptop bag.
If your laptop happens to disappear during your travels, you’ll still be able to get the data you need from your USB drive. It’ll ensure your business trip isn’t a complete mess.
Turn Off Your Laptop’s Wi-Fi When You’re Not Using It
Most people keep the Wi-Fi for their laptops turned on at all times. They do it so that they can connect to the internet when they’re at home or work.
But when you travel, the last thing you want to do is walk around with a laptop that has its Wi-Fi turned on all the time. You could inadvertently allow someone to hack into your computer this way.
It’s a good idea to turn off your Wi-Fi before heading off for a trip. It’s also a good idea to keep it off throughout the course of your trip unless you absolutely have to turn it on to use it.
Be Careful About Logging Into Public Wi-Fi Networks on Your Laptop
Are your travel plans going to have you spending at least a little bit of time sitting in airports?
While you’re waiting for flights, you’ll likely be tempted to hop onto the Wi-Fi networks that are set up at most airports. About 75% of the world’s airports offer free Wi-Fi these days.
You’re more than welcome to use the free Wi-Fi at an airport. But you should be careful about which Wi-Fi network you log into. It’s very easy to leave your laptop vulnerable by signing into a public Wi-Fi network that’s not secure.
You should be mindful of which Wi-Fi networks you choose to log into at airports. You should also take the same cautious approach to logging into Wi-Fi networks in hotels, restaurants, coffee houses, and other public places.
Store Your Laptop in a Safe, If Possible, After Reaching Your Final Destination
Once you reach your final destination and check into a hotel while traveling, you might think that you and your laptop are in the clear. You might even make the mistake of letting your guard down when it comes to protecting your laptop.
It’s very easy for people to get lulled into feeling a false sense of security when they’re set up in a hotel room. But just because you’re in a hotel doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be wary of turning your Wi-Fi on and connecting your computer to a Wi-Fi network.
You should also be wary of leaving your laptop out in the open in your hotel room. You never know who might come along and either try to access your hard drive or, worse, take your laptop and steal it.
If possible, keep your laptop in a safe in your hotel room at all times when you’re not using it. This will reduce the chances of someone accessing or stealing it after coming across it in your hotel room.
You might also want to look into investing in a security cable lock for your laptop if you don’t think a safe will be available to you.
Use Traveling as an Opportunity to Clean Up Your Laptop
Has your laptop been operating a little slower than usual lately? If so, you might want to use traveling with a laptop as an opportunity to clean it up and get it moving again.
It’s important for you to maintain your laptop over time so that it’s always able to run at its best. If you don’t do this, you could very well end up with a slow-moving computer on your hands that takes forever to load programs, apps, websites, and more.
You can clean up your laptop while you’re still at home—or you can clean it while you’re traveling with it to kill some time. You can use programs like CCleaner for Mac or the best alternative to CCleaner to get the job done.
You’ll notice a real difference in the way that your laptop works when you’ve cleaned it up. It’ll almost feel like you’re using a brand-new laptop when you get it back home and start using it.
Traveling With a Laptop Is Easy When You Use These Tips
Traveling with a laptop can be very stressful for those who don’t know how to do it. Many people work themselves up into a panic when they’re trying to figure out how to bring a laptop along on a business trip or vacation.
Steer clear of finding yourself in this situation by utilizing the tips found in this guide. They’ll help you keep your laptop and all of your important data safe throughout the duration of your next trip.
Would you like to learn more about protecting your laptop, both at home and when you’re out on the road? Check out the articles on our blog to find out how to take good care of it at all times.