TIPS

On losing a laptop

May 1, 2014
On losing a laptop

A cautionary tale about my losing a laptop so you can take steps to prevent it from happening to you…

My last trip out of the country was pretty unsettling. My carryon—with my laptop tucked inside a zippered pocket—was only left unattended for moments. So the theft must have happened quickly and was likely executed by a professional (or at least someone who had been around the block before). It’s still hard to believe it happened.

I had spent a good portion of my days and nights working and communicating on that trusty MacBook Air. In fact, it contained so much personal information that it was almost like a diary—housing my calendar, my contacts, and many of my thoughts.

Even though losing a laptop feels pretty rotten, I tried to keep the loss in perspective. As I wrote in PBS Next Avenue,

Travelers have far worse experiences — e.g. being mauled by lions in Africa, becoming deathly ill on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, falling off steep cliffs in the Andes — but losing a laptop is traumatic for a variety of reasons: the hassle, the expense, the potential for identity theft and the guilt and regret of having let it happen.

My recent article on PBS Next Avenue distills all the lessons learned. If you ever travel with technology, I urge you to read it.

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