Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College

Mobile Technology

Welcome Road Warrior!
OK - so you have a laptop and a PDA/cell phone... you are now a Road Warrior. Not only are you dedicated and you work hard but now you carry all that dedication and hard work around with you!

Your Laptop and PDA/Cell Phone May Hold the Following Information:

  • Your schedule and access to it and other's as well
  • Addresses and other contact information
  • Emails and email addresses
  • Memos, directions, notes to yourself/others, Focus and/or Banner downloaded reports
  • Photos
  • Automatically saved passwords to get into your schedule, email, file space, and other password protected sites (personal banks, credit card companies, Banner, etc.)
  • Reports containing confidential and/or personal information
  • All the rest of your hard work!


Here's a Scary Thought
Your equipment with all that data gets misplaced, lost, or stolen... YIKES! The first thing you should do is notify LIS Technology Support at x3900 because there are ways that we can try to track it down and flag it as a missing laptop. Please remember- you'll not only be missing your "stuff" but if the wrong person gets their hands on your "stuff"... well... now... we're talking about the possibility of Identity Theft. Your identity and/or of those whose personal information is stored on your device!

How You and Your Equipment Can Be SAFE While Traveling

  • Password protect your laptop and PDA (not fool proof but can be a deterrent)
  • Back up your data frequently, especially before you travel and keep your back up in a safe location. Keep that "personal" information someplace other than your laptop... just in case. If you choose to use a flash drive please be sure it is capable of encrypting your data.
  • When traveling keep your devices with you at all times. When flying carry it on the plane with you. (Remember that old luggage company commercial with gorillas as baggage handlers? Ouch!)
  • You may be asked to remove your device from its case and start it up so it may be a good idea to make sure the battery is charged and place the device in "suspend" or "standby" mode so start up will be faster.
  • Allowing your devices to go through x-ray stations will not harm them but metal detectors can cause damage. Politely request that security personnel do not run your devices through metal detectors and that they do a hand check instead.
  • It's very important when returning to your country of origin, that you have the correct Customs documentation or original receipts. These show that the laptop and other mobile gear is what you left the country with. The onus is on you to prove that you already own the equipment and did not purchase it while traveling. You will have to pay duty and taxes on items purchased while traveling if you can't provide proof of ownership
  • Be aware of your surroundings and people near you
  • While there have been no recorded incidents of this type of theft it's still wise to keep this scenario in mind. Two people will get in line ahead of you at the security area. You have placed your laptop on the conveyor belt and it has moved ahead. The first person goes through with no problems but the second has many difficulties. While you and Security/Customs are distracted, the first takes off with your laptop. Always wait until the last moment to put your laptop on the conveyor belt.
  • If your carry case has a lock on it use it. If not keep your bag closed at all times... it's easy for someone to reach in and take something out and for someone to drop something into your case.

Caring for Your Laptop
Laptops are great... and fragile! Here are some tips for taking care of it.

  • Be aware of temperatures. Don't leave it out in the cold or blazing heat then bring it in and start it up. Let it get to room temperature before starting it up. Electronic equipment does not like moisture from condensation or that cup of hot coffee!
  • Unlike a desktop computer a laptop computer needs to be shut down when not in use. Shutting down when not in use prevents the laptop from overheating and it also needs the rest.
  • Adjusting your power options will help your laptop from heating up when not in use even if for short periods of time. You can set your hard drive and display to turn off after a set time period. Another option is to set the laptop to go into standby or hibernate mode.
  • Make sure that you before you put your laptop into its carrying bag that it is shut down. A notebook that has been left on can melt. When enclosed in a notebook bag there is no air circulation and the results can be worse than melting. Don't find out the hard way and just be sure to turn off your laptop.
  • Using a laptop desk or cooler will prevent you from being burned when using your laptop. A good laptop desk will have large enough vents for allowing air circulation between you and the laptop. Some laptop desks have additional fans which use power from the laptop itself to stay cool.
  • It's a wise idea not to use any soft material as a buffer between you and your laptop. Always operate your laptop on a hard surface, preferably one that allows ventilation. Soft materials can block the airflow vents and cause it to overheat. If it is not possible to avoid using a soft surface, an optional heat sink base should be used to maintain cooling.
  • Whenever your laptop will not be in use, even for short periods of time remember to unplug any accessories. Not only do they use power but they could cause the laptop to overheat. It's especially important to unplug any accessories before packing your laptop in its carrying case. While you may believe it will make it quicker to use, it could damage your laptop, the accessory and/or your laptop bag.

...Oh! One last thing!
Not only should you remember to keep your computing devices safe but don't forget about the "technical stuff" that holds your data! Flash drives, external back up devices, memory cards, etc... can also create a headache if lost or stolen! In most cases these items can be password protected using encryption software. Be sure you purchase them through Technology Support and ask for them to be encrypted devices.

If you have any questions please call LIS Technology Support at x3900. Let's work together to keep your work and your equipment safe!

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