Computer – A little Safety

Presuming you have some good, solid antivirus protection, you also want to protect your computer in other ways.

IF TRAVELLING

  • Buy a protective bag or case. Buying a new bag can be a little expensive, but this type of thing often turns up in bargain bins or cheaply on eBay. As long as it’s the right size there isn’t too much to go wrong. If it prevents a damaged computer you have got you money’s worth. It travelling overseas find something that is Transport security Administration (TSA) approved.
  • If you can make your computer case not look like a computer case it is less likely to be stolen. Thieves only want it if it is valuable
  • Don’t let it out of sight; don’t let it get beyond arm’s reach. Thieves will not hesitate to grap an opportunity and steal a computer. A cable lock will help; these cost about $A10.oo
  • Get some software that keeps track of your computer. MYLaptopGPS, Find My Mac and Prey are good options; register in advance.
  • Sometimes mild paranoia is justified. Driving instructors tell us to pretend that everybody else on the road is a risk, so we end up driving defensively. Treat social circumstances in the same way. There need by only one thief in the crowd for a theft to occur. The thief isn’t specifically targeting you, but they will steal if they can.
  • Use a ‘Do not disturb’ sign on hotel doors; the less people in the room the better. Keep the computer out of sight.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for public use. If on a business trip ask your company to provide this. Don’t update anything on WiFi or foreign network, these are open to malware spyware and everything else
  • A spare battery can sometime make all the difference.
  • Look at getting insurance. If you don’t have some insurance, maybe you shouldn’t be travelling.
  • Backup everything before you go on a trip. If you need to install updates do so before you leave.
  • Don’t update anything on WiFi or foreign network; these are open to malware spyware and everything else.

Adaptor plugs are an issue overseas; every country has different plugs and different voltage levels. Remember that many adaptor plugs change the pins but not the voltage. It is better to buy power supply locally than complex voltage changers. Most computer shops have no problem with this. Some Hotels can supply appropriate equipment.

PREVENT DATA LOSS

If you save everything to the Cloud you are already preventing most issues. If not, send all your files to yourself as emails. Even if your computer is stolen or damaged the files are on line. If the files are confidential they are only as safe as your email account; you will have to weigh up security issues versus risk of loss.

MAINS POWER

Get a surge protector on the power mains. This isn’t quite the issues as it was in the 1980’s when we had no end of disaster stories about surges causing no end of damage and data loss; back them people had to spent considerable amounts on surge protectors. A power surge is still cause for concern, however. But as the protectors are relatively cheap you have no excuse for skimping on protection.

If there is a thunderstorm you should disconnect everything from the power mains. You can still use a laptop if the battery is charged. With other computers you might do well to buy an Uninterruptible Power supply (UPS), which will protect from power surges and give you at least a few minutes to finish what you are doing before you are forced to power down. You can buy a respectable UPS for about $A200.00, which will probably last longer that than the computer if the power doesn’t go down too often.

For any repairs or queries talk to Elite Computer shop, Homebush.