Netbooks – The Ultimate Travelling Companion

Netbooks – The Ultimate Travelling Companion

In today’s world it is well known that technology advances and the size decreases as manufacturers look to include everything into a tiny package ready-made for practicality. Netbooks are probably one of the front runners in this field.

Tiny, lightweight and with the ability to store everything in the same place, netbooks are increasingly being seen as the perfect travel companion. Offering an ideal way to access the internet, check emails and editing documents, no wonder they are such a popular choice amongst business people and tourists alike.

Beware though; there are some hidden pitfalls that should be considered when taking your netbook abroad.

The first thing to ask yourself is does the travel destination offer Wi-Fi access? This is massively important; the ability to use the netbook online will be completely diminished if the access isn’t available, so doing some research on whether Wi-Fi is provided by for example airports and hotels before travelling is very important.

Having found a Wi-Fi network, it is then crucial to check the levels of security both on the netbook and the Wi-Fi connection. This is something that is often over looked. Increasing numbers of hotels, airports and airlines are offering Wi-Fi services, but these networks can often be susceptible to hackers looking to steal any personal details

Precautions that can be taken when travelling with a netbook include:

Make sure it is protected by anti-virus software and that this software is up-to-date.

Always use the access codes provided by the Wi-Fi connection provider. Hackers often create “dummy” networks, named convincingly enough to dupe the user into thinking that is the correct network they are connecting to. If connected, this allows for the hacker to steal any sensitive material that may be stored on the netbook with very little trouble.

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Make the assumption that you could be monitored while using Wi-Fi on your netbook, therefore do not access any site which could contain personal details. This way the risk of identity theft is minimised. If necessary though, check the padlock symbol that usually appears on secure sites is present, again this will minimise the risk.

Turn off the Bluetooth on your netbook and switch it from ‘discoverable’ to ‘hidden’.

It should also be noted that netbooks, although considerably smaller than laptops still need to be backed up regularly. If something should go wrong, for example the loss of the netbook in baggage handling or any damage done whilst travelling at least if the memory is backed up the contents are still accessible, even if only on a USB memory stick,.

Also advisable would be to password protect any sensitive material to limit the damage if stolen. On a similar subject it is important to make sure any piece of technology of significant value; including netbooks are protected under a travel insurance policy.

Again if the netbook is stolen it is covered and increasing numbers of travel companies are offering insurance on technical goods, so really it’s non-excusable to not have any.

If all of these factors are taken into consideration, then your trip with your netbook should be a relatively smooth, stress-free one.