Monday, January 24, 2011

Ways to Protect Your Laptop

There are more ways than you might think to protect your laptop. There are also different things that you might not want to think about that you can protect yourself from. Here are some things you can buy/do to protect your laptop.
Protecting your computer always comes at a cost, whether that be actual money, added weight, added steps, etc. Here are a few different choices to help protect your computer with the ups and downs associated with them.

Physical Damage
Case – A case is always a good investment to protect your laptop. I have to admit, I’ve dropped my laptop square onto cement on more than one occasion, and if I didn’t have a plastic case on there, it would most certainly be horribly dented! They even come in cool colors so you can individualize yourself! As great as they are, companies know that you want that protection. Prices range from $40-$60 for most cases, but if you search, you can maybe squeeze that price to $30-$40 every once in a while. The leading brand for Macbooks/Macbook Pros is Speck Products. Another issue with cases is how clunky and heavy they are. Expect to feel a difference when you put your laptop in your backpack and start walking.
Dust Cover – You can buy a silicon covering for your keyboard to keep out dust/dirt. I used to use one specifically for working outside during pollen season. It works exactly as it should, but be wary: The keys feel a bit weird, and sometimes almost sticky from the silicon. They also come in crazy colors though, so you can have a unique-looking laptop! It can’t hurt to have a cover, but is it practical? Well, that is up to you and where you use your laptop.

Theft Protection
Cable Lock – Did you ever look at the slots on the side of your computer and see that one small hole that just doesn’t seem to be marked as anything?  It is probably for a Cable Lock. You can buy cable locks at places like Best Buy and Circuit City. Their sole purpose is to connect your laptop/computer to any stationary item (table, desk, bench, tree, etc.), keeping it from going anywhere. They work great, but if you hook them up and unhook them repeatedly (through general use, as opposed to setting it up and leaving it there permanently), you can easily damage that little hole on the side of your laptop with scratches and deterioration. It’s something that if you are mindful of, it shouldn’t be a problem. Some good Cable Locks are made by Tryten.

Screen Locking – This is more of a software issue, but it still counts as protection. If the unfortunate situation arises where someone does actually steal your laptop, it doesn’t hurt to know that the thief won’t be able to access your account. Even if he hard-restarts the computer from the screen lock, he would need to know your password to get back into your account anyways. You can lock your screen when it wakes from sleep in the “Security” Preference Pane in the System Preferences area.
Hopefully these should be some helpful ideas for protecting your computer. There are, of course, other things you can do to protect yourself from both your own clumsiness as well as others’ evil doings. Figure out where you are most vulnerable, and adjust yourself to fit that area (i.e. using your laptop while on the train? Big bumps could make it fall off of your lap, so PUT A CASE ON IT!).
Good luck out there!


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