1. Welcome, lone traveler from Ashburn!
Here under Travel computing, you will find advice on how to use your computer or how to connect it to internet while traveling.
Backup, backup, backup!
You will find below some security and safety tips regarding your hardware laptop. However do not forget that the documents contained in your laptop probably exceed its hardware value.
2. Main article
Remember at all times, whether you are traveling or not: it is 100% sure that, one day, your laptop will die or get stolen. Even if you take all possible precautions, one of these fatalities will occur; that is 100% sure! - Your greatest loss, then, might be not your laptop (which you can always replace for a few thousand dollars the most), but the documents contained in it.
So make sure you are constantly making backups of your laptop data, either to a USB stick, a USB external hard drive (which you need, of course, to keep in a separate piece of luggage when travelling), CDs or other solutions. There are also online backup services like ibackup.com, or you could simply use a large storage email account like the free GMail (1 GB storage) (only upon invitation; ask your friends and workmates if they have a GMail account and can invite you) or other fee-based email accounts (i.e. Runbox (10 GB) and email your most important files to yourself to keep them in a duplicate place.
Security and Customs laptop security tips
Improper use or not being aware of safety issues can cause your laptop irreparable damage. These safety tips should be added to your weekly laptop maintenance routine and will help you stay productive and safe no matter where you are working.
1) Carry your Laptop or Pack It Away?
You should keep it with you at all times! It goes with you on the flight as carry-on baggage. Do not store it in the overhead storage area; it could get knocked around by someone else. Absolutely do not put your laptop in with your other baggage. Baggage handlers are not expecting expensive electronics to be in the stored baggage areas and you can not expect it to be treated as a fragile object.
2) Visual Inspection (manual checking)
You may be required to remove your laptop from its carrying case and turn it on to demonstrate to Security / Customs that the laptop is exactly that – a functioning computer. A good way to save time if you anticipate this happening is to turn on your laptop earlier and leave it in suspend mode. This is a good reason to ensure that your laptop battery is kept charged. When your laptop is examined in this manner it is often called “hand checking”.
3) Avoid to X-Ray Your Laptop and Shut It Down
Letting your laptop go through the x-ray equipment will not harm your laptop. The magnetic field which is generated is not enough to cause harm to your hard drive or cause damage to your data. Metal detectors, on the other hand, can cause damage, so request politely that Security / Customs do not use the metal detector but do a hand check instead. Unlike a desktop computer a laptop computer needs to be shut down when not in use. Shutting down when not in use prevents the laptop from overheating, and it also needs the rest. A notebook that has been left on can melt. When enclosed in a notebook bag there is no air circulation and the results can be worse than melting. Do not find out the hard way and just be sure to turn off your laptop.
4) Carry Proper Documents
It is very important when returning to your country of origin, that you have the correct documentation or original receipts. These show that the laptop and other mobile gear is what you left the country with. The onus is on you to prove that you already own the equipment and did not purchase it while traveling. You will have to pay duty and taxes on items purchased while traveling if you can not provide proof of ownership.
5) Fact or Fiction - The Airport Laptop Scam
It is good to keep this scenario in mind. For instance: two people will get in line ahead of you at the security area. You have placed your laptop on the conveyor belt and it has moved ahead. The first person goes through without problems but the second has many difficulties. While you and Security / Customs are distracted, the first takes off with your laptop. Always wait until the last moment to put your laptop on the conveyor belt!
6) Keep a Low Profile
While waiting for your flight and using your laptop, choose an area where you will have some privacy and do not have to worry about someone looking over your shoulder. If it is too crowded, do not use your laptop, and waiting for a time when it is less crowded. If someone is interested in your laptop, be brief but polite and pack it in. They could be looking for a laptop to steal.
7) Do not Let Your Laptop Out of Sight
Your laptop could be gone, if you let it get out of sight even for a few minutes. Take your laptop bag with you, if you have to use the facilities in an airport. The only exception is if you are traveling with someone you know and trust, but remind them to not leave your laptop alone. While going through the Security / Customs screening keep a close view of your laptop if you are required to set it down for any reason.
8) Keep Your Laptop Case Locked
You should keep your laptop bag locked, even in order to prevent someone from helping themselves to your other mobile gear and documents. The reason for keeping your laptop case locked is so that someone is not able to put anything “extra” in your laptop case, if you have it sitting on the floor by your feet for instance. An open case could be a tempting location for someone to drop an item into, then later take the case to get the item.
9) Avoid Lap Burn
Using a laptop desk or cooler will prevent you from being burned when using your laptop. A good laptop desk will have large enough vents for allowing air circulation between you and the laptop. Some laptop desks have additional fans which use power from the laptop itself to stay cool.
10) Soft Spots
It's a wise idea not to use any soft material as a buffer between you and your laptop. Always operate your laptop on a hard surface, preferably one that allows ventilation. Soft materials can block the airflow vents and cause it to overheat. If it is not possible to avoid using a soft surface, an optional heat sink base should be used to maintain cooling.
11) Unplug Accessories
Whenever your laptop will not be in use, even for short periods of time remember to unplug any accessories. Not only do they use power but they could cause the laptop to overheat. It's especially important to unplug any accessories before packing your laptop in its carrying case. While you may believe it will make it quicker to use, it could damage your laptop, the accessory and/or your laptop bag.
Laptop Power Adapters (AC & DC)
Laptop Travel carries a complete line of laptop power supplies and laptop power adapters. These are available for all major brands of laptops and notebooks. DC power supplies and inverters are used to convert DC power into AC power. These types are most commonly called car power adapters, and they are technically power inverters. When traveling with your laptop be sure to protect the life of your battery and invest in a laptop power inverter or replace an expired power supply from our selection of replacement power supplies and power adapters. Before you leave you should inform you, which model adapter may be suitable for your laptop.
Wireless laptop adapter cards are necessary for mobile workers to take advantage of hot spots and Wi-Fi Internet access in hotels, airports and train stations. It is much easier working on the road when you can connect to the Internet or company network using a wireless laptop adapter.