OK, so that thwarted bomb plot targeting flights out of the UK traveling to the U.S. may result in the banning of all electronic devices in carry-on luggage. Aw, shucks. Ya mean, I can’t sit on the plane in coach with my laptop in front of me working on a spreadsheet, or writing that story, or preparing that big presentation? Are you telling me I have to just sit there and relax, watch the in-flight movie …or maybe, heaven forbid, sleep the flight away. How awful!
Apparently, these electronic devices can potentially be used to both house and/or trigger liquid explosives. This most recent plot was believed to hinge on mixing an energy drink with a gel-like substance in-flight to create a potent explosive capable of being ignited by an MP3 player, laptop or mobile phone.
While we understand your concerns about the above items, or the data they are carrying, being lost, stolen or damaged as part of cabin luggage, there are a few measures you can take to avoid disaster.
1. Do not check in what is obviously a laptop bag. Instead bury your laptop and other devices in another bag with adequate padding.
2. Remove all the data from your hard drive not deemed essential for your trip. The removed data can be carried on a CD or USB stick if it is required at your destination.
3. Get insurance that will cover the loss of expensive devices should they go missing with the rest of your luggage and maintain a list of serial numbers and product specifications.
4. Explore the various methods of authenticating and encrypting data as well as methods of physically securing hardware devices (especially laptops) so they either lock down or call home in the event that they are stolen.
We can already hear the complaints from the techno geeks and workaholics who simply can’t be separated for any length of time from their electronic life partners. Get over it! In the name of national security, you can “unplug” for a few hours and join the rest of the world by either reading a book or watching an Adam Sandler movie.