Traveling With Electronics

Traveling With Electronics

It’s no secret that Americans are constantly on the go, using technology to help us multitask and get things done while we are out and about. Smart phones, PDAs and mini laptops are all the rage – until we lose them.

We usually lose things in transit: on buses, trains and planes, in cabs and rental cars, shopping malls and coffee shops. If you’ve ever lost an electronic gadget, you know the cost, inconvenience and security risks can become not just a hassle but also a burden.

As many as 12,000 laptops are lost in American airports each week, according to a 2008 survey by the Ponemon Institute. Even though more than half of them are left behind at security checkpoints, the survey says a whopping 65 to 70 percent are never returned. Airport lost and found departments are repositories for massive numbers of lost electronic devices, most of which lack any identifying information that would help airport personnel return the items to their owners.

So how do you avoid becoming a “loss statistic,” especially if you travel a lot on business with personal electronic items? Here are a few simple tips:

1) Label your laptop or other electronic devices with your name, address and cell phone number. A majority of laptops lost in airports are left at security checkpoints where they presumably will be found by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or airport staff. If there’s no identifying information on your device, the authorities or even a Good Samaritan will have no way to find you and return your property.

Invest in a portable labeling device and put your identifying information on important electronic items. Brother recently launched two portable labelers – the PT-1230PC and PT-2430PC- that easily plug into the USB port of your laptop or any desktop computer and require no software installation to use. These P-touch labelers print up to six lines of text and graphics on high-quality, laminated labels durable enough for travel as well as indoor and outdoor use. Visit to learn more.

2) Always carry smaller electronics like cell phones and iPods in the same place in your handbag or carry-on. Knowing where to look for them will not only help you access and use them quickly, but also help you realize sooner rather than later if an item really is lost.

3) Charge your electronics before you begin a trip so that you don’t have to charge them in an airport lounge or waiting area. Charging in a public place increases your risk of forgetting an item, or having it taken when you look away for a moment. And even if you remember to take the phone, you still risk forgetting the charger.

4) If you carry your cell phone, mp3 player, electronic planner or other small electronic item in your pocket, always check the area when you get up from a seat. Devices can easily slip out of a pocket when you’re sitting down.

5) Take extra care — and time, if needed — at airport security checkpoints to make sure you’ve retrieved all your important possessions, including laptops and other electronic devices. Don’t feel you have to rush to get out of someone else’s way, especially if rushing will increase your risk of forgetting something. TSA screeners consistently give passengers verbal reminders to check their belongings to be sure they have everything, but you rarely hear any of them urging passengers to hurry up once they’re through the screening point. They understand you may need a few extra moments to collect your belongings. Courtesy of ARAcontent



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