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Data Disasters While Traveling - Tips On Safeguarding your Digital Data While on the Road

One of the most significant and philanthropic benefits of modern technology is the mobility and flexibility it allows us. Now, you can have your cake and eat it too! That is, if you want to travel or vacation to get away for a while, you need not worry about losing your precious working hours. All you need to do is carry your laptop, mobile phone and i-pods etc. with you and work while having fun. Your digital camera can make your vacation truly memorable and your mp3 player will keep you rocking to its beat. Such are the blessings of modern gadgets.

However, if you are not careful about certain things, you may end up having a vacation data disaster! The data lost may be personal in nature like your family’s pictures on the beach, or, it could be commercial, related to your profession. There are many ways you can lose data from your data storage devices and your vacation may or may not be the cause but it does make your devices particularly vulnerable. Data could be stolen by thieves or lost due to mechanical carelessness which damages the hard drive. While vacationing, laptops and hard drives have to face a relatively harsher climate, whether you are camping, trekking, doing road trips or simply lying on the beach. Extreme variations in temperature and moisture, exposure to sunlight and sand and mechanical jolts and rough handling all make your hardware prone to crash. Mobile phones accidentally get dropped in the swimming pools and other devices don’t fare much better.

Another story could be of theft. Maximum laptop thefts are reported from airports and hotels, restaurants, beaches and gardens are also some of the areas preferred by these thieves. It’s not only the price of the laptop they are interested in. Even the data inside could be very valuable. The wi-fi and internet ports provided in most of the hotel rooms and cyber cafes are insecure and almost anyone can have access to your data if they want. By gaining access inside your hard drive, they can delete and manipulate your programs. Another risk from these unreliable connections is that of viruses which can corrupt your software.

Having elaborated upon the risks, now we can understand and execute the ways to protect your data and storage devices while you are busy holidaying. As they say, prevention is better than cure. Don’t let your laptop or phone out of your sight. Don’t leave it unattended in the room or car or at least transfer the data to a flash drive or a portable media and take it with you. Infact, locks are available for your laptop and you can chain them as you would chain your bike. Attaching an alarm device is a good idea too. Also many companies have their laptops protected with a fingerprint lock. Keep changing your passwords and updating your antivirus software. Encryption is generally more reliable than passwords and should be used if the data is very sensitive to theft. Even if the data is lost, the thief will have a very hard time getting an access to it. These are some of the commonsensical methods to ward off the thieves.

Even while vacationing, give your storage media the same respect as you usually give it. If you are in a particularly adventurous mood, give your laptop a vacation too. Handle it with care. Moreover, as accidents may happen despite all your cautious behavior, Back Up. Before you leave your home, make copies of all your important, irreplaceable files and store them safely. If the data stored is small or has been acquired while vacationing, it’s very easy and convenient to use online backup. One can always access the data as per one’s will and it will be safe from the vacationing hazards.

Practical sense will tell us that carrying a small portable storage media along and backing up the data on it is a smart thing to do. It could be as tiny as a memory card, a USB flash drive or a small sophisticated hard drive with a larger capacity. They can save you a lot of time, money and heart aches. Arrange your data in such a way that it’s easier to backup and retrieve in case of loss like putting all the documents in one folder.

So, we know vacationing is important and we can’t do without it, neither can we do without data. It’s possible to have both if we just know how to do it. It’s akin to protecting ourselves with the little knowledge of a sunscreen. You should be able to look back upon your holiday with a smile, not a frown.