Technology

What’s your tech disaster back-up plan when you travel for work?

Anthony Hill /

It’s important to have a Plan B in case your tech fails you while you’re on the other side of the country or halfway around the world.

As careful as you might be when you travel for work, there’s always the risk that your gadgets could be lost, broken or stolen while you’re in on road. Should you find yourself facing such a disaster, you probably can’t afford to take the rest of the week off, especially if you have clients relying on you and deadlines to meet.

While computers, smartphones and tablets are expensive to replace, the data stored on them could be just as valuable. If you’re backing up your devices to the cloud and syncing your files with other devices then hopefully you shouldn’t lose much data if one or more of your devices comes to grief.

Of course you’ll still need a way to access that data and keep working. It might be as simple as jumping on a PC at the hotel business centre, assuming you can securely access everything you need though a desktop browser — which requires some advance planning on your part.

If the business centre won’t cut it (maybe because you need to work on the move), then you’ll need other options at your disposal.

Perhaps you’d be prepared to walk into a store and purchase replacement gadgets on the spot, but you still need to ensure that you know all the logins and passwords required to get up and running again. This is where an online password manager might come in handy, along with the sync features in your desktop browser which download your passwords, favourites and browsing history once you log into your account.

Also consider whether you’ll be caught out by the need to receive a two-factor authentication code to access your accounts on new devices. Check whether your services offer single-use passwords or other workarounds to use in these situations.

Rather than buying new hardware while you’re travelling, perhaps you can make do with your other devices until you get home.

Consider which apps and services you’d need to set up on your smartphone in order to keep working should your notebook be out of action. You probably can’t completely replicate your desktop workflow on a mobile device, so think about which tasks are essential when you’re on the road and which can wait until you get back to your office.

If working on your phone would be a challenge then consider carrying a Bluetooth wireless keyboard, or alternatively you could just buy one on the road if you need it — even a cheap one from the supermarket will do in an emergency.

There’s no one-size fits all solution, so you’ll need to develop the best emergency plan to meet your specific needs. Whatever you decide, make sure you go through a trial run before you travel — work on your backup devices for a day to see what’s vital and what you can temporarily live without in an emergency. Don’t wait until it’s too late to discover that your disaster recovery plan isn’t enough to save the day.

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Anthony Hill

Anthony Hill is the head of technology at Geeks2U, a national on-site computer repair and tech support company.

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