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The U.S Transportation Security Administration recently lifted it’s ban on laptops and large electronics for flights from several Middle Eastern countries. For the time being they have increased security protocols and requirements for airlines, but that does not mean the ban is going to be completely out the window for future flights. It could very easily be reinstated, and potentially expanded to a larger number of airlines and countries.
With a laptop ban you could be prevented from bringing your laptop, tablet, camera, and other large electronics into the cabin of an airplane. Not only will you be at risk of losing some extremely expensive items, but it puts you at risk of losing something even more valuable—your personal information.
When boarding an international flight, whether it be for business or pleasure, your carry-on luggage is rarely more than an arm’s length away. But with a laptop ban you can no longer keep close watch on those valuable electronics. And you can hardly be asked to leave your laptop at home, especially if you are traveling for business or an extended amount of time. How can you know if that check-in bag made it on the plane and arrived safely at your destination? Or if it quickly departed the airport with someone else? You don’t just want to hope for the best when it comes to your valuables, and there are tools to provide you with the peace of mind of knowing exactly where it is.
You’re smart and have done the right things in the past, such as buying travel insurance and having copies of passports. That’s not enough. Here are some steps that you can take to keep your information safe.
Luggage trackers, such as those designed by Lugloc, can give you that peace of mind. They connect to an app on your smart phone, so you can know before your flight takes off that your bag is on board. Once you’ve landed you can trace your bag’s movement, seeing if it’s following you to your connecting flight or if it’s been left behind from your layover. Knowing is half the battle, so rather than wasting time at the baggage carousel, wondering if your bag will show up, you can take the steps necessary to arrange for your bag to be delivered to the correct location.
Secure your laptop
You have no idea who might get their hands on your laptop once you check it in. Make sure that your computer not only has a log-in password, but also encrypt your information so that hackers can’t boot your PC and potentially get access to your hard-drive. A remote wipe can also prevent them from retrieving any data once the laptop is taken. You may want to also consider using biometric authentication- such as a fingerprint scanner or face and iris recognition software. It might seem a bit more high tech than you might think necessary, but these steps could be the difference between staying safe and getting your identity stolen. Better yet- bring a fresh laptop or tablet that does not have any of that important information. Read more advice on how to protect your laptop here.
Backup your information
There is more on your laptop than just your work documents or banking information. There might be photos of loved ones and personal correspondences that you have not saved anywhere else. As much as it may hurt to lose a project you’ve spent weeks on, a price cannot be placed on losing the more sentimental information. Backup your information, either on an external hard-drive or in the Cloud, so that if you do lose the physical laptop, at least you won’t lose any valuable contents. Just keep in mind that the Cloud is not infallible, and if you know you’ll require certain information while traveling, it might be best to simply save the documents to a flash drive. This way you can ensure you can keep the information on you, and you don’t run the risk of not being able to access it when you need to.