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Keep your laptop safe when flying

SmarterTravel

Laptops are highly desirable targets for thieves and hackers, and they’re vulnerable to careless baggage handlers. Here are tips to make flying with a laptop safer.

  • Make sure your computer’s security systems are up to date.
  • Set a system password and turn off any auto-fill or remember-password features.
  • Use a padded laptop bag.
  • Carry your laptop on the plane, as theft or damage are more likely if you check it.
  • Be watchful of your laptop at all times.
  • Do not send your laptop through the security X-ray machine until it’s your turn to walk through the metal detector. Keep an eye on it as you pass through. Ask one of the agents to grab it if you get held up for a search.
  • Be wary of Wi-Fi scammers. Hackers often set up “free” Wi-Fi service through peer-to-peer networks at airports. To avoid this, open your “Wireless Network Connection” box to view the available networks. Don’t be fooled by legit-sounding names. Click on each to view the network details. If you see anything labeled “peer-to-peer,” “computer-to-computer,” or “unsecure,” do not use it.
  • Anytime you use airport Wi-Fi, avoid making purchases or typing in personal data like a credit card or social security number.
  • On the plane, store your laptop in the space in front of you (even if you don’t plan to use it during the flight), so it doesn’t get damaged in the overhead.

Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

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