Best Practices for Protecting Your Laptop to Prevent Damage and Data Loss
Many computer users love the freedom of laptops because they give them the ability to take their computer anywhere. Laptops represent the first “mobile computing” device, and even with the popularity of tablets and smartphones, those devices still can’t pack the same power as a laptop computer.
The problem with all that mobility is that it can result in a dropped laptop, broken screen, spills of food or drink on a keyboard, and any number of other events that can cause hardware crashes, physical damage, and the need for emergency laptop repairs.
But physical damage isn’t the only thing you have to worry about when you own a laptop. They’re also much easier to lose or have stolen than a desktop computer.
It’s estimated that there is a 1 in 10 chance a laptop will be stolen during its lifetime.
When it comes to best practices for safeguarding your laptop, protections come in two main categories:
Protection from physical damage and wear that can shorten lifespan
Data protection for a lost or stolen device
Next, we’ll go over tips for each category to help you enjoy the mobility of your laptop while also keeping it safe.
Tips for Physical Protection of Your Laptop
No matter how careful you are, it’s easy to accidentally bump your laptop bag into a wall or spill that Red Bull on the keyboard. Here are some protections that will help mitigate the damage.
Use a Laptop Keyboard Skin
Ultra-thin skins made from materials like Silicone are designed to lay over your keyboard without interfering with your typing. They help keep dust out of the nooks and crannies and also are a lifesaver if you happen to spill your drink. A bonus is they help keep the printing on the keys from wearing away over time.
Get a Protective Shell Case
If you take your laptop out and about regularly, commuting, traveling, or visiting job sites, then it’s a good idea to find a study hard case that’s designed to attach to the exterior for extra shock and scratch protection. It’s the same idea as a phone case and will also help protect against damage from being dropped.
Use a Firm Surface, Always!
We know it’s called a “lap” top, and many people put them directly on their laps or on a soft surface, like a pillow, but that’s going to promote overheating, which can damage your laptop’s internal components.
Instead, use a firm laptop desk, designed with a cushion on the bottom and a solid surface. There are vents at the bottom of most laptops and if it’s not sitting on a hard surface, the vents can easily get covered up by fabric.
Use a Screen Protector
Broken laptop screens are a common visitor to all IT repair shops. A laptop screen protector will not only keep your screen cleaner it can also add an additional barrier that may help protect it from a scratch or worse.
Tips for Data Loss Prevention of Your Laptop
It’s a sinking feeling when you realize your laptop has been left on an airplane or it’s been stolen. Once it’s gone, there’s not much you can do, but you can take precautions that will help ensure you only lose the hardware and not everything that’s on it.
Ensure your laptop is attached to a cloud-based backup system (you may also want to back up on a local hard drive too). This will ensure that even if you’re traveling, any new files being added are continually being backup up, so you’ll have a copy of all your laptop contents if you need to restore it to another computer.
Physically Secure Your Laptop
It seems like common sense to make sure your laptop isn’t left in an unlocked car or out in a booth at a trade show, but people still make the mistake of leaving them unattended or thinking that no one will bother with it.
Beyond keeping your laptop either with you or in a locked location, you can also use laptop security cables with a lock combination or a locked case for additional security.
Use a “Find My Computer” Feature
Apple users should turn on the “Find My Computer” feature that iCloud has. It not only allows you to geo locate your MacBook, you can also lock it with a passcode, or delete your files remotely so a thief won’t rifle through them.
Windows users can turn on a “Find my device” feature in settings, it will let you locate and lock your device remotely.
Use a Good Antivirus/Anti-Malware
Just like desktop computers, laptops are susceptible to all the same viruses and malware, so make sure you’re using a good antivirus and malware program and keeping it up to date to keep dangerous threats from infecting your system.
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