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(ARA) – The busy summer travel season is quickly approaching and you’ll want to take your PC with you on all your adventures, wherever they might take you. Here are few tips and tricks to prepare your PC and help keep it safe no matter where you go.

It’s a bumpy road

Whether traveling by plane, train or automobile, keep your PC in a computer bag. Computer bags have special pockets and padding designed to protect the PC from bumps and bangs. When traveling by plane, never check your laptop in your luggage. If you are traveling by car, leaving your laptop out in the open is an invitation for thieves. Never leave your PC in your car on a hot day, as excessive heat can harm your PC.

Help protect your PC

Create a strong login password to help protect your personal files and information in case your PC is stolen. Avoid obvious passwords like your child’s name and birth date. Strong passwords should be more than eight characters in length and include a combination of letters, numbers and, if possible, special characters. Also avoid transferring any sensitive information over an unsecured Internet connection. Make sure you use antimalware software, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, to help protect your PCs against viruses, spyware and other malicious threats.

Keep your PC up to date

Make sure your PC is up to date before you hit the road. If you have a Windows-based PC, go to to ensure you have the latest security and performance enhancements installed. By updating the programs on your PC, you can protect yourself from the latest threats on the Web. Internet Explorer 9 is designed to help protect you from evolving online threats, such as socially engineered malware attacks with built-in security features including Domain Highlighting and the SmartScreen Filter, which adds another layer of antimalware and phishing protection. These additional protections work together to help keep you secure and extend the security to meet the evolving threat landscape.

Always be prepared

If you frequently switch between desktop and laptop, make sure your PCs are running the same version of software before hitting the road. If you are traveling overseas, make sure you have a set of adapters for your power plug. If you are worried about losing documents or photos, there are several free cloud services available – such as Windows Live SkyDrive, which will store, protect and allow you to access your documents from anywhere.

By keeping these simple tips in mind, you’ll have a safe and happy travel season. And don’t forget your sunscreen.