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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Don't put your laptop in your checked luggage.
- Label your laptop with your name and contact information. This will help airport lost-and-founds contact you easily.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.