Traveling With A Laptop

Friday, July 17, 2009

My dad works for the TSA in Los Angeles out of LAX. When we bought my laptop Wednesday, he was telling us stories about how many laptops are lost and stolen in the airport. I asked him what steps I can take to help keep my laptop secure when I'm traveling to BlogHer. I told him I was going to purchase LoJack and he kinda talked me out of it.

He said his office has tested the LoJack system on laptops, cell phones and other electronics and it doesn't work. Actually, he said the system itself works, but only if the item with LoJack is outside. Once it enters a building, the GPS is useless. In his words, "I have LoJack on my car, but if it gets stolen and put on an 18-wheeler, it's gone." He also said if the thief takes the car into a parking structure the LoJack isn't really helpful.

So, I called Absolute Software and asked that question. The LoJack for cars is a GPS based system, but for laptops, it's software and internet based. The software works once a person reports their laptop as stolen AND the laptop connects to the internet. Once the computer is on the internet, the software allows the trace to start.

The company gets the IP address, they call the internet service provider to get the physical address, give the physical address to the police who then obtain a search warrant. That's a lot of steps! But, it seems like a good back up and it's definitely better than nothing. The service is pretty affordable so I might do it anyway.

Basically, common sense is the best way to safeguard your stuff. I have my business card taped to the bottom of my laptop with neon orange duct tape. I have the laptop serial number stored in my iPod touch and I bought a
laptop sleeve from Amazon, which hopefully meets the TSA's Checkpoint Friendly guidelines.

Please keep your eyes peeled and (double and triple) check your bags in the airport. Let's all come home with the same amount of stuff we left with!

Laptop images from here and here.


  1. Good grief. I may not be able to come home if I lose hubby's precious laptop. When we purchased it, there was an unwritten agreement that it was for me to take when I'm away. Now that he has it, he's trying to keep it all to himself. Imagine if it was stolen. Eeek.

  2. I never, ever take my eyes off my stuff when I'm going through the checkpoint. That's a lot easier to do now that the kids are older.

  3. You are soo smart. Oh my, the conversations that your dad and I could have. I like this Dad of yours...

  4. Yup, I always keep an eye on my stuff. Although it's difficult when I travel with my two hyperactive children. Then I'm so busy focusing on them..but I usually loop my bag handle around my leg so if a crazy person tries to steal something while I'm telling my kids to shut their traps, then I'll know.

  5. LoJack is not GPS based; it's radio frequency based specifically to enable police to track and recovery vehicles parked it garages and shipping containers. Hope that helps.

  6. Years ago, when I bought my first digital camera I put a label on it with my name, address and phone number. My cousin saw it, laughed and said, "That's nice Michele. The criminal will know where to send the thank you card." LOL!

    I keep my laptop in a Golla backpack ( when I travel and watch it like a hawk as it passes through the security check point. Once a hurried traveler commented to me, "You can just leave your stuff there and walk through (the sensor thing)." Uh, no...I can't...slickster.


Thank you for visiting and letting me know your thoughts!

copyright melanie sheridan 2009 template design by Studio Mommy (© copyright 2015)