If you’re like many people, your laptop is vital for how you do business on the road. While they provide the great functionality of a PC while traveling, they are also attractive targets for thieves. Learn how to protect your laptop and data while not missing a step.

  1. Choose the Right Bag – Find a good balance of form and function in your laptop bag. Having a bag that screams, “THIS PERSON IS CARRYING A REALLY EXPENSIVE LAPTOP!” is a bad idea. Yet it’s equally poor judgement to choose an incognito bag that doesn’t offer any real physical protection. Finding the right balance of form and function will not only make you the talk of the terminal, but safe guard your laptop against damage.
  2. Keep your laptop on Your Person – After finding the perfect bag to securely carry your laptop from point A to point B, it may be time to develop the habit of keeping your laptop close as often as possible. If your laptop isn’t on your person, you are not fully in control of its security. Think of it as an extension of your person. If you need to place the laptop bag on the ground, simple measures like stepping into the strap or leaning the bag against your leg will go a long way.
  3. Always be Aware of your Laptop. – As important as it is to try to keep your laptop on you at all times, this isn’t always possible. The next best habit to develop is to always keep your eyes on it. A good thief will be watching you for signs of distraction. The moment your attention is diverted, they will make their move, and the laptop will be gone in a matter of seconds.
  4. Use Better Passwords – Coming up with a strong, yet memorable, password can be challenge. Yet, it’s a near essential step in safeguarding your data. Strong passwords should contain a combination of both lower and upper case letters, numbers, and symbols. Refer to this article for some handy tips in creating a strong password.
  5. Encrypt Your Data – Windows OS allows you to encrypt your sensitive files and folders for that extra level of security. Depending which version of Windows you are using, the steps to encrypt your data will be somewhat different. Check your OS developer’s official site or some trusted forums for easy to follow directions.
  6. Use a Screen Privacy Filter – If you want to guard work from prying eyes while in public, then perhaps you may want to look into privacy filters. Privacy filters are great when you are sharing space with strangers. They make it possible for you to look at your screen while concealing it from those around you. So, next time you’re on a plane or in a crowded cafe, your information can stay private.
  7. Secure your Laptop in Your Hotel Room– Your home away from home, the hotel, can sometimes be a source of theft. As most travelers know, the hotels can range greatly in terms of cleanliness, amenities, and safety.  Researching the hotel before booking will go a long way in determining security. Always check the recent guest ratings before booking. Keep in mind that no hotel room is 100% safe, a laptop security chain will help secure the device when you have to leave the room without it. Certain programs that alert the owner when the location of a laptop has changed will add an extra level of security.
  8. Affix your Name and Contact Information on the Laptop – Make sure that your contact information is on your laptop. There’s a chance that if you lose your laptop, a Good Samaritan will find it and help with its safe return.
  9. Protect your Network: If your laptop is stolen, you should take steps to protect your company’s network right away. Make sure to change your network password immediately to protect your corporate servers. Report the theft to local authorities and your company’s IT department so they may attempt to recover it.

While there is no such thing as perfect safety, these tips will help ensure a bit less stress and a lot more peace of mind during your next business trip.