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6 travel tips to avoid data disasters

airplaneMichael Kohn from Lonely Planet recently wrote a blog post about Eight comment tech travel disasters. As we work at the world’s leading data recovery firm, we thought that we would share a few insights on six of eight of Michael’s travel disasters:

  1. Maximise your charging opportunities. Before you start looking at what backup batteries you need to take on holiday one of the essentials of every travel kit includes an AC power adaptor.  And as most electronic equipment will charge from a USB connector how about getting an adaptor that has a USB port included. 
    There are usually opportunities for seeking a quick charge at the airport or bus depot if you look and have the right equipment.  There are normally a few outlets for the cleaners hover.Do your homework to reduce the power consumption of your digital devices and possibly chose a device with a longer battery life.  For phones put the phone into Airplane mode when possible, this can reduce the power consumption by up to 80%.  Obviously you cannot take calls but you are miles from the nearest power it is likely there is no mobile phone coverage either.  For cameras turn down the brightness on the LCD screen or possibly switch the LCD off and use the viewfinder, if it has one.
  2. Fit more photos on the memory card. How about reducing the size of the image files.  Do you really need to save to the largest option? These sizes are normally designed for blowing up the image to A3 or bigger.  If all you want is your 6×4 holiday snaps lower the setting and fit more photos on the memory card.  For most recent cameras, particularly DSLRs the full sized image is over kill.  The other alternative is of course to review the photos and delete the rubbish ones as you go.
  1. Hand baggage or hold. From our own experience of transporting IT equipment and the damage caused by putting the equipment in the aircraft hold, we recommend always keep our primary devices as hand luggage.  The aircraft hold or coach storage bays are not the place for sensitive equipment. Baggage handling is not always the best and the extremes of shock, temperature and vibration add to the risks of damage and increase the chances of failure.
  2. Tried and tested method. You can always write down the reference number on a piece of paper.
  1. Keep two copies. Making a copy and keeping them separate is the key requirement here.  Whether it is to the cloud or to another destination is not so important.  If you can wait until you get home before deleting photos from your camera memory card(s) this counts as one copy and uploading it to a laptop, tablet, phone or cloud is the second.
  2. Remove the power. It’s the power from the battery that causes the damage so immediately switch off the phone and remove the battery if possible.  Removing the liquid as much as possible is the next step.  The rice will help with the removal of the final residues from the internal parts.  A hair dryer set to low will help evaporate the liquid or leave the phone in a warm well ventilated place. Leave for at least 4 hours preferably overnight before trying to turn it on again (this will take longer in high humidity climates).  If there are still signs of moisture wait longer before turning it on.
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