Recent security restrictions at airports are having an effect on mobile entrepreneurs. Liquids and gels such as bottled water, toothpaste, lotion and some cosmetics have been banned from carry-on luggage. There are exceptions for some medications. Laptops and other electronics are allowed onboard after screenings. "Business travelers are still affected by the ban on certain items in carry-on luggage," says Roger Dow, president and CEO of the Travel Industry Association. "This will result in business travelers readjusting their schedules to allow for extra time at baggage check. It will make day trips and quick overnight trips slightly more time-consuming."
There are several things entrepreneurs can do to better prepare. "Business travelers who don't want to check their baggage should make sure their carry-on luggage does not contain any prohibited items, such as liquids, gels or aerosols," Dow says. "Many hotels are expanding what I call their 'Did you forget' services to include many of the currently banned items." He also suggests wearing slip-on footwear to make the mandatory X-ray shoe check easier. This information was current as of press time. --Amanda C. Kooser
Feeling vulnerable? Some entrepreneurs, like Monique Hamaty-Simmonds, founder of Miami food and gourmet products business Tortuga Imports, refuses to save certain company information on notebooks. Instead, the 35-year-old entrepreneur prefers to save and retrieve specific files from her office using GoToMyPC.com, an online service that acts like a secure virtual private network. The service starts at $19.95 per month for one PC.
Is she being paranoid? According to the 2005 "Corporate Exposure Survey" conducted by security company Credant Technologies, more than 81 percent of lost or stolen notebooks are never recovered. Almost 90 percent of those computers contained some confidential information, and close to three-quarters failed to comply with regulatory requirements for data encryption. In Montana, for example, companies that fail to disclose the loss of consumer information can be fined up to $10,000 per violation. Cars and airports/airplanes were among the top three places where laptops go missing, though the survey found they were most vulnerable in the office. Here are some tools to help protect your valuable information.
Heather Clancy, editor of technology newsweekly CRN, has been covering the industry for 14 years.