Thursday, April 30, 2009

10 Security Tips When Traveling with Your Laptop

I wrote these 10 tips with reference from Internet sources and my personal experience. When I did security consulting I traveled a lot, the best tip I can recall is that I wrote something in the default paper card inside my laptop bag: "If you get this laptop, please call xxxxxx (my cell number), I will give you CNY1500 in cash face-to-face!" -- enough money for an old IBM R51. But fortunately my laptop didn't get lost for years, so I could not confirm this tip works or not:)

Another tip which is not included below is to eject your harddisk from laptop and always keep it with you before boarding plane.

  1. Back up valuable data before traveling. Use a removable storage to back up your important and sensitive files and keep it in a safe place.
  2. Avoid traveling with a laptop bag that is obviously meant for a laptop. The more generic looking your laptop bag is, the safer your laptop will be.
  3. Don't put your laptop in your checked luggage.
  4. Label your laptop with your name and contact information. This will help airport lost-and-founds contact you easily.
  5. Be careful at the security checkpoint. Always wait for the person in front of you to leave the area first. It is common practice for thieves to create a distraction and snatch a laptop when it's out of its owner's hands.
  6. Never let your laptop out of your sight. While you are at the airport -- in the bathroom, on the phone, or in the lounge -- always keep your computer bag on your shoulder.
  7. Once you board the plane, keep your laptop bag under the seat in front of you. Don't put it in the overhead bin, where it could get stolen or damaged.
  8. Be alert to who can see your laptop screen when working on a plane or other public place. Use a notebook privacy filter when you must work on confidential information in public locations.
  9. Put your laptop in the hotel safe when you are not using it. When you go out of hotel room, you should place your laptop in a secure cabinet in your room.
  10. Keep your firewall open and update to latest anti-virus codes. Especially when you access internet from hotel room or Internet cafe, block all incoming traffic.

1 comment:

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