If your laptop computer is stolen, or if someone gains access to your files while your back is turned, your company information—not to mention your personal and financial data—can be exposed.
Find out how to protect your laptop from theft when travelling with our 8 useful tips below:
1. Avoid using computer bags
A computer bag can make it obvious that you’re carrying a laptop. Instead, try putting your laptop in something more common, like a padded briefcase or suitcase when traveling.
2. Use strong passwords, and do not keep them in your laptop bag
Strong passwords that are difficult to break or guess can deter unauthorised access to individual files and even to the entire operating system.
3. Use a screen guard
These guards help prevent someone from seeing your screen—even if he or she peeks over your shoulder. They can be very useful if you need to work on sensitive information in a public place, and they are especially helpful when you’re traveling or need to work in a crowded area. The screen guard from is just one example of a screen guard you could use.
4. Carry your laptop with you
Always take your laptop on the plane or train rather than checking it with your luggage. It’s easy to lose luggage and it’s just as easy to lose your laptop. If you’re traveling by car, keep your laptop out of sight. For example, lock it in the boot of the car when you’re not using it.
5. Keep your eye on your laptop
When you go through airport security, don’t lose sight of your bag. Hold your bag until the person in front of you has gone through the screening process. Many bags look alike, and yours can easily be lost in the shuffle.
6. Avoid setting your laptop on the floor
Putting your laptop on the floor is an easy way to forget or lose track of it as you talk at a ticket counter or order your late. If you have to set it down, try to place it between your feet or leaning against your leg, so you’re always aware of it.
7. Try not to leave your laptop in your hotel room
If you must leave your laptop in your room, put the “Do not disturb” sign on the door to keep hotel staff out. Don’t leave your laptop at the front desk, either.
8. Affix your name and contact info to the laptop
Security experts advise that you affix your name and contact information, along with a promise of a “Reward if lost or stolen—no questions asked,” on the computer. Doing this can help improve your odds of getting the computer back in the event of theft or a simple mix-up.
What to do if your laptop is stolen
- Change your network password to help secure access to corporate servers.
- Report the theft to local authorities (such as the police) and to your company’s IT department.
- If private customer data was on the laptop, contact your account representative, legal representative, or appropriate person at your company so they can take the necessary actions.