Last Friday, at 5:45 am while catching a flight up to San Francisco for the TechCrunch/August Capital shindig, I clumsily left my MacBook Air in the TSA security bin. I didn’t realize this until about two hours later when I went to get my computer to work on the train.
Completely panicked, I called and left numerous messages with TSA, had my wife go to the airport, and pretty much bummed around all day in a state of shock. I re-played every event and decision, wondering how I could be so forgetful. I also thought about everything I hadn’t backed-up. Family photos, work, financial records, and more. Not only that, I had looked at anti-theft services like Prey multiple times, but hadn’t installed it, thinking, “It’ll never happen to me.”
Well, it happened. Fortunately, a honest TSA person picked up my laptop from the bin (wish I knew who it was… I am so thankful), immediately logged it, sent it to LAX TSA lost-and-found, and I was reuinited with my MacBook Air today.
So, to those who were like me, here’s my advice.
- Back-up everything (frequently)… preferably to a cloud service, but at least to an external drive
- Make sure everything is password protected
- Put some kind of identifying mark on your computer (a case, sticker, etc), as TSA kept asking me if there was a unique identifier on my computer
- Install anti-theft software
Oh, and don’t complain about TSA at the airport again.