Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Protect Your Digital Gear While Traveling

Many of us travel for business and carry our office with us. There are a few of you who get to break away on a vacation but are still tied to your laptop, PDA and cell phone.

I use Trend Micro PC-cillin as virus protection on my laptop / notebook computer and am extremely happy with their product and upgrades.

In the July edition of their new monthly newsletter “Security Brief” the fine folks at Trend Micro offer some sound advice.


Protect your Digital Gear while on Vacation

Planning to take your laptop, PDA, cell phone with you on vacation? Remember some basic travel and vacation protection tips.

Make sure your computer has the latest Internet Security software for protection from viruses, spyware, Trojans, hackers and SPAM. Before you depart on your vacation, back up all critical files and information and leave your backup(s) in a secure location at home or work.

Remove unnecessary information from your laptop and USB drive, in case the device(s) are compromised or stolen. Also, password protect your computer, PDA and other digital equipment.

Be wary when accessing wireless hot-spots; free does not mean safe.

Don't pack your digital computer or other valuables in checked luggage.

Do not put or leave your laptop computer, PDA, cell phone or camera visible in the car; store it out of sight in the trunk prior to arriving at your final destination.

Keep a watchful eye on your computer, digital equipment, and other valuables, as they pass through security checkpoints. Retrieve all of your belongings after passing through security.

If lost or stolen, put a hold or cancel all of your online accounts as soon as possible - including your computer account(s), to minimize the chances of identity and information theft.

Most of all, remember to enjoy your vacation and your time away from the office.

Click here to learn more about PC-cillin and Trend Micro.


I would like to thank Trend Micro for their advice and I’d like to add the following suggestions.

Have your data backed up on a travel disk and keep it separate from your computer or PDA. I keep my updated data information on a back up disk so that in the event my laptop crashes, or just as bad, gets stolen, I can access my information from another computer.

Bolt your computer down in your hotel room. I carry a cable wire with lock to secure my laptop in my hotel room. This connects to your computer and wraps around a table leg. I’ve never had any problems with hotel maids or staff but this does add a little extra security when I’m out of the room for the day. Cable locks can be purchased from you favorite computer retailer.

Personalize your equipment. It’s not a bad idea to engrave your name and phone number onto the bottom of you equipment. This may not help you find it in case of robbery but it certainly will help you identify the item if recovered.

You can’t enter without the secret word. I totally agree to have password protection on all your programs especially on your bios booth system. That way, even if anyone turns your computer on, it makes it more difficult for them to easily access your information. It’s better that they trash your machine rather then get your person or business data.

I’m in Montreal working a conference. Whether you’re on vacation or on the road for business, I wish you safe and happy travels.


Al The Only


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