PDQ Library:  Travel with a Laptop

Keep your laptop and your data safe -- laptops get stolen, data gets trashed, backups disappear.

  1. Never take any more data files than you need. Some company data is worth more to a competitor or foreign country than the laptop. Consider taking the data on a removable disk (floppy, ZIPdisk) kept with you at all times. Buy one of those nifty little USB storage sticks - about $100, insert into a USB plug and it appears like a new hard drive -- and it fits on your keychain.
  2. Use software that allows you to download another copy of any lost files or programs. Some popular remote software is: Norton pcAnywhere (Symantec), LapLink (Travelling Software), Timbuktu (Farallon).
  3. Make a copy of all your important files and programs before you leave and, if your laptop is lost or stoen, you can use the remote software to retrieve copies from your office computer. You can also leave backup copies with somebody you can reach during working hours who can transmit or courier them to you.
  4. Make copies of any important files created on your laptop while you're travelling and carry them separately from your portable.
  5. Use anti-virus software that runs CONTINUOUSLY. Keep it up-to-date! Most companies provide monthly updates that you can download.
  6. Use any security features available with your laptop, such as power-up passwords, hard drive passwords, or even encryption software. This latter stores your data in code so no one can read it without the password. Don't write down the password anywhere near the laptop!
  7. In many countries it is illegal to possess encryption software. Check with a travel security expert to avoid the risk of arrest!
  8. If you don't wish to do any of these precautions, then the data is not important enough to take on the road anyway. Leave it at home.

Thanks to IBM Home Computing and various source on the Net. 1997-11-12

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