Submitted by Bruce Newman from CMIT Solutions of The Northeast Valley on Thursday, June 09, 2011
Summer is rapidly approaching, which means an increase in travel. Traveling is an exciting time for many, but whether traveling for business or pleasure, the trip can quickly turn into a nightmare if important documents are lost or a smartphone or laptop are stolen. So whether you are traveling by plane, train, or automobile, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risks and steps you can take in order to have a safe and successful trip.
Rule #1 – You do not leave your items unattended When traveling, keep your expensive electronics close at hand. This does not mean you need to be working on them at all times, but keep them in sight so you know where they are. Expensive items left unattended are easy prey for thieves looking to make quick money. Studies show that a majority of items are lost at the airport gate or security checkpoint.
Rule #2 – You DO NOT leave your items unattended Sound familiar? Even though it sounds like common sense, this happens so often, it’s worth stressing again. Even if you go get a quick drink, that is still time enough for someone to steal your laptop. And not only do you need to keep an eye on your electronics, but your bags as well. When someone sees a laptop bag they will assume a laptop is in it, stealing the bag and its contents. These contents could include important work-related documents, and once those are gone, it could take hours to replace them. So the bottom line is to always keep your items within an arms-reach.
Rule #3 – Save your data (often and automatically) If your computer crashes, or is stolen and you haven’t backed it up, your business could be over. Well, technically your business isn’t over, but it will sure feel like it is. Without regularly backing up your computer’s hard drive, you could be in major trouble and lose years of information. It is better to be proactive than reactive, and saving copies and backing up your important documents can save you from experiencing major problems down the road.
Rule #4 – Leave at least two hours before the flight With security tight at the airport, arriving early is the best tip to follow when traveling. It never hurts to arrive too early, especially at a new airport where you are not familiar with the location of the gates. Plus, it is never fun to arrive somewhere without your luggage. So, to ensure you and your items make the flight, getting to the airport early can help ease the stress of travel, and reduce the risk of breaking one of the other rules.
Rule #5 – Only one program at a time The hardest thing to find when traveling is the elusive outlet, especially when the battery light is flashing red. But to reduce the stress on the battery on you and your electronics, use the least amount of processing power possible. This means if you are using your laptop, only use one program at a time – no music or movies playing in the background. This can quickly sap power from the battery, leaving you high and dry when you need it most.
Rule #6 – Keep your logins and passwords in a safe place In the case of a catastrophic event, having all your login information and software products keys can get you up and running faster. If you do not have these items in one convenient and central area, trying to rack your brain for the password you created years before could be near impossible. Keep all of this information in a locked location and a second location for safekeeping.
Rule #7 – Prepare early for a disaster When leaving your office for an extended period of time, make sure the office is secure, the equipment is safe, and the data is off site. The simple task of moving electronic equipment off the floor and onto an elevated surface will save you in the case of a flood. Although a flood would be a major problem, at least your computers and electronic devices will be spared. Make sure you have a Business Continuity and off site backup plan and process to make sure that if a disaster hits, you can keep your business running.
Rule #8 – Follow the rules…. If this is your first time reading these tips, you HAVE to follow them. Aside from the people in your life, there is nothing more important than vital work documents. Ensuring your information is safe and your equipment is properly protected is crucial to keeping your business up and running. It is easy to overlook these tips when you are traveling, but keeping them in mind is easy to do and will save you time in the long run.