Before You Leave for Vacation, Make Sure You’ll Come Back to Happy Computers

In the summertime, you have a few unique things to worry about: traveling with a computer; making sure that computers don’t suffer from heat or lack of ventilation; and ensuring that a big storm or hurricane doesn’t knock out your systems while you’re away.
If you’re traveling with a computer, you’ll want to make sure you don’t accidentally leave it at the airport – that’s an obvious first step in a successful journey! After that, your primary worry until you get to an electrical outlet will be making sure you have enough battery power to last.

 1. Make sure you’ve run a full backup before you leave. Save copies of important documents on your corporate file server, and password-protect and encrypt the files on your hard drive.

 2. Invest in a biometric USB flash drive that requires an authenticated fingerprint to access files.

 3. Give yourself plenty of time at the airport, and keep an eye on your computer at all times — a recent study showed that people most frequently lose their laptops at security checkpoints and at departure gates.

 4. While traveling, preserve the life of your battery by dimming your screen; turning off autosave; minimizing the number of programs you’re running; and disconnecting external devices like mice and USB drives.

 Keeping your computer cool during a heat wave can be a big challenge. A few common-sense precautions can help.

 1. Give your computer access to plenty of air. Clear those stacks of paper off your CPU, pull it out of the corner, and make sure your fan can operate properly.

 2. Speaking of fans – take the cover off your CPU and make sure your fan is clean. If it’s gunked up with dust and pet hair, it won’t be able to run efficiently.

 3. Move your computer to a place where it doesn’t have to work so hard to cool itself. If it’s sitting in bright sunlight or if it’s right near an appliance that generates a lot of heat (like a projector, for example), it’s already at a disadvantage.

 Let’s say you’re shutting down the office, leaving your computers behind, and getting out of Dodge for a week or two. How can you make sure a storm, flood, or hurricane doesn’t put a damper on your return?

 1. Get expensive equipment up off the floor. Even mild flooding can cause major damage to thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment.
2. Run a full backup and test it to make sure you could restore your system in the event of a major data loss. We’ve spoken with countless business owners who run backups but never test them, and then they’re shocked to find out their “business-critical” backups are corrupted or incomplete.

 3. If you have an onsite backup system, great. If you have an offsite backup as well, that’s even better. And if your offsite backup is far away in a secure location that’s not prone to major weather events, that’s best.

 4. Write down all your software product keys, license numbers, passwords, configuration notes, and encryption codes and put them in a locked safe — preferably both on premises and off.

 5. Have a plan in place so that if a major disaster occurs while you’re away, other people in the office know how to contact each other and what procedures to follow in order to get your business systems running again. This includes writing down the sequence in which applications, servers, and databases need to be brought back online in order for data to properly repopulate.


One Response

  1. Nowadys it’s common for us to travel with a computer or usb devices. I think protecting computer or usb drives with in advance is necessary as computer and usb drive can be easily lost during travel. There are many good applications available for us, like truecrypt, or this usb encryption software I got form

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