According to the Air Transport Association’s annual Thanksgiving travel forecast, over 23 million passengers are expected to fly on domestic and International flights from November 18 through November 29, 2011. The busiest travel days are expected to be Sunday, Nov. 27 and Monday, Nov. 28, followed by Friday, Nov. 18.
If you’re one of the over 23 million people scheduled to fly during this busy time and you’ll be carrying your computer in tow, here are a few tips for keeping your laptop - and data stored on it - safe during the busy travel season:
- Make sure you have a copy of your laptop computer’s make, model and serial number in a safe place in case you need it.
- Never check your laptop computer as baggage. Laptop computers should always be carry-on, so you have it closer to your person at all times. Laptop computers that are checked baggage could be damaged in transit or lost all together.
- Don’t leave your laptop computer unattended at dining courts, airport terminals or other public places where it could be targeted for theft.
- If you use your laptop computer in any capacity to store sensitive information like patient, client or customer data, be sure you’re using encryption to protect this data from being accessed by unauthorized people.
- Keep a careful eye on your laptop computer when going through security checkpoints and scanners. If your computer has already passed inspection, but you haven’t, this gives thieves the window of opportunity they need to quickly steal your laptop. Don’t forget to pick it up once you’ve been cleared.
- Make sure you have a laptop security solution installed on your laptop prior to departure. This way if your laptop computer goes missing, you can lock it down and prevent unauthorized access to your sensitive data and stop the perpetrators from using the machine or trying to resell it. Other features like GPS tracking, IP tracking and a picture from your built in webcam can help in recovering the device.
Don’t let this Thanksgiving be the year that you lost your laptop at LaGuardia - or any other airport, for that matter. I hope these helpful tips make your holiday travels safer and more enjoyable!