Monday, 25 June 2012

Do you know where your laptop is right now?

All over the world, Zontians are boarding airplanes and jetting to Torino.

Many of them are carrying a bundle of electronics including laptops, smart phones, cameras and tablets. Including all the requisite cables, adapters and plugs.

Damn it - I'll plug in my Mickey toaster somehow! (source: gaicharisma)

And it turns out huge bunches of people don't know how to maintain their ownship of these items when travelling.

Fortunately you are all going to Torino which barely rates a mention on Absolute Software's 2011 Computer Theft Report.  No Italian airport was included on their Top 20 "most likely to have your laptop pinched" list.

So it is highly likely that in 2014 you will arrive in Orlando with that same laptop - and lose it there.

Orlando came in 4th in the USA list. And for god's sake, whatever you do - watch out in Atlanta!

Additionally, Absolute tell us how the laptops get lost:

Basically everywhere

So what does this mean when you are travelling through airports, and in particular among the millions that go through Orlando?

  • Don't pack your laptop in your suitcase.
I am astonished at the frequency with which people do this. Ask Schapelle Corby about the trustworthiness of baggage handlers. Your bags are handled by many people from several companies - the airline, the airline's outsourced handlers, the airport staff, govt inspection service, and this occurs through every airport. Your bag is scanned after you check it in and that is one point where your electronics clearly show up.

And BTW - since it is dangerous to put lithium ion batteries in the cargo, unless you remove the battery, then it is illegal to pack your equipment in your checked baggage. Take all electronical equipment as carry on.

  • Don't leave your equipment unattended.
At the coffee shop. At the boarding gate. This includes at the security check. When you put your laptop on the conveyor belt make sure you are not wearing anything that will set off the alarm and keep you away from your goods waiting sadly alone on the belt.  Buy your coffee before you sit down.

  • Don't leave your equipment in a car, and preferably use the hotel room safe.
Don't stick it under the driver's seat and don't assume the hotel will take your side. You could consider using the "Do not disturb" sign - if you are happy with a dirty hotel room.

  • Stay Alert
Like pickpockets, you may find yourself the subject of a group of organised thieves who distract you. So walk the terminal with purpose. Sit down when texting your mates, so you can't be suddenly surrounded. If you let the kids use the equipment, be alert that they are keeping it safe too.

Although texting in an airport is safer than texting whilst carrying a missile launcher in a crowd

So treat your electronic equipment as if it is cash. You wouldn't leave a wad of cash lying on the backseat of your car.

  • Keep it with you
  • Keep it in appropriate and safe carry bags
  • Store it safely
That way, instead of doing police reports, you'll be enjoying your pictures and your catching up on your email with friends.

(source: business review australia)

Geez - have I been tough enough already???

(if on the other hand, it's time to upgrade that sucker, well .... )


  1. Thanks from Zonta Club of Lansing. Always need reminding of what not to do, because it is so easy to do the wrong thing. Yes, I hope to see you in Torino also. I'm leaving Wednesday the 4th of July.

    1. Hi Zonta Club of Lansing. Just today I met someone, a very senior exec, who on a recent business trip packed the ipad. Well ..... you can guess what happened. I think I will update the post to tell what happens.
      No - I am not going to Torino - I am hoping to post some updates if all the attendess provide content
      Have a great convention!

  2. Really good advice. Should be repeated regularly.

    My advice is to carry everything in a backpack. You're much less likely to set it down and lose track for a moment.

    Also would like to note that I had one of those moments with security check in at Zurich airport, until we acknowledged that, yes, I had a Kindle - that was my electronic item that was coming up, and yes, I will take it out and send it through separately.