Tips to avoid losing your laptop

2014-06-07 00:00

LAPTOPS have become more than a gadget or workstation and many people now can’t live without one.

But, according to a user-generated database, Airport Lost and Found, travellers lost over 10 000 laptops, smartphones, tablets and other personal electronic devices in seven of the largest airports in the world between June 2012 and June 2013.

According to John October, spokesperson for Dial Direct Insurance: “Airports are one of the top 10 places where laptops are likely to be stolen. This mostly occurs at security checkpoints, in toilets or when the people disembark from a flight and are disorientated after the journey. Theft and loss occur more when you are distracted, stressed and in crowds.”

There are many ways that your laptop or other devices can come to harm or get stolen while you are travelling. Follow these tips to prevent this from happening:

• You’ll probably be asked to remove your laptop from its bag and put it through an X-ray machine. Place your laptop in a bin by itself before putting it through the X-ray machine at security. Reclaim and secure your laptop as quickly as possible once you are through the screening process.

• Before reaching the security check, place your cellphone in your hand luggage.

• Never put your laptop or tablet in your checked baggage as this increases the risk of it being stolen. Also, the lack of cabin pressure and low temperatures in the hold may cause damage.

• If you use your laptop before boarding, take the same precautions that you would in any other public space. Never leave your laptop unattended.

• Protect the information on the laptop by backing up data before you travel or keep any important or sensitive data separate from the laptop on a flash drive, CD-ROM, or external hard drive.

• If you can’t separate the data from the laptop, use password protection.

• Make sure to have a proper laptop-specific carrying case. Separate compartments for accessories and power cables will keep your PC scratch and dent free.

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