My laptop was dangling, precariously suspended, high in the branches of a thorny Jalapeno tree that towered more than fifty feet above a pit of molten lava. I stood before the tree with a small electric chainsaw and my trusty pair of knee-high rubber boots, prepared to do whatever was needed. After all, I had a meeting in less than an hour and while all of my notes and my Powerpoint charts were backed up onto a nice thumb-drive, I’d foolishly left the drive in my laptop bag which was snatched out of my rental car by this wicked tree. Chainsaw in hand, I entered the pit… the tree must die.
This dream (and many others like it) plagued me the other night after receiving an email from corporate about the current statistics regarding laptop thievery. It’s at an all time high. A laptop computer is pilfered every 53 seconds in
You need to know that your average laptop bag is a target. People want it and they’ll use all kinds of sneaky ways to take it. So… take a few precautions so that this doesn’t happen to you.
- Don’t leave your bag unattended. I know, this seems like trite and stupid advice but people still ask their airport neighbors if they’ll watch a bag while they go to the bathroom or something. Don’t do it. Take your bag with you all the time.
- Don’t leave your laptop in your rental car. Ever. Heck, the newer cars beep at you if your laptop fails to buckle the seatbelt in the passenger seat so just use that ridiculous chime to remind you to put the laptop in the trunk where it is out of the direct line of sight of any would-be laptop thief.
- Take your laptop into your hotel room with you; don’t leave it in the car.
- Since your bag is a target, you might want to take the extra precaution of backing up important data to a memory stick or thumb-drive, and keeping that data in a separate bag or in your pocket when you travel.
- Get rid of the “free bag” that came with your laptop. Thieves can spot it a mile away. Consider a laptop backpack, or a carry-on bag with a laptop zip pocket. You’ll be far more careful with your bag if it has more of your valuables and things inside, and you’ll be more apt to take it with you if it’s easier to roll or carry than the free bag.
I can’t remember how my dream ended; I’ll have to wait for the movie. The hero probably sawed, cut, and ate his way to the top only to regain his data at the cost of some hellish heartburn and a lava burn or two above the knee.
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please send an email! Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.