Some things are just emotionally difficult to think about, and I recognise that I can subconsciously make ill-considered decisions in lieu of rational ones.
My lost laptop scare brought some of these sharply into focus:
Backup – I conscientiously backed up all work code, websites and graphic files. There are, however, a few important things I’d missed, which would damage my productivity or take me longer to recover. Chiefly, I need to back up my emails, product registration codes and program settings files (like XAMPP config and local test databases). I need to think through the restore process and ensure I have an efficient recovery plan. I have a spare machine, but it’s a Mac rather than a PC. Would this be a problem?
Personal data – I need to copy the photos from my camera memory card and back them up- many exist there alone.
Insurance – I picked my travel insurance with very little thought on a couple of internet recommendations (from people who had not made claims). It has a maximum single item cap of £200 and pays current value rates rather ‘than new for old’… not sufficient for my laptop.
Travel – When packing, I should expect to lose everything and see how I feel, travelling ‘disposably’. This might mean purchasing a cheap netbook for taking abroad.
Security – It’s most likely that a thief would just wipe a laptop to sell on cheaply. However, I need to make sure any item is as worthless to the thief as possible- encrypting data and locking down the computer with a password to prevent identity fraud. [see: Encryption]
Police recovery – I need to take note of all serial numbers and perhaps take pictures of my items to aid any investigation. I should travel with a paper copy of these and/or have these available for me to find online.
‘Cloud’ storage – I could use GMail to store my emails rather than keeping local copies. Online backup systems may also be worth investigating.
With precautions, I could travel with peace of mind, rather than with blinkers!