Laptop Safety Tips 101

12/04/2011 15:19

Whether you are a college student, business person, or casual web surfer, there are a handful of general laptop safety tips that apply to everyone who owns and/or operates a laptop. To avoid accidental and costly damage, please follow these laptop safety tips:

Keep all liquids away from the laptop.


If a spill occurs, turn the laptop off immediately, disconnect the power cord, and remove the battery. Soak up the liquid, but do not wipe. Tilt and/or place the laptop upside down to remove any excess liquid, but do not shake. Let the laptop dry at least 24 hours; a blow dryer on the lowest setting may be used to help dry the keyboard. Do not remove the casing as it could cause internal damage or void the warranty. Once the laptop is completely dry, return the battery and power cord and power it up. If unsuccessful, have the laptop professionally serviced.

Avoid setting the laptop on soft surfaces for an extended period of time. Soft surfaces restrict airflow vents and could cause overheating.

Power down when not in use or while traveling and storing the laptop in a laptop bag. This also prevents overheating.

Adjust power setting to hibernate or go into standby when the laptop is not in use for a certain amount of time. Again, this prevents overheating.


When the laptop vents become blocked or the fan function fails, the temperature inside the laptop begins to rise. As a result, the laptop may be forced to suddenly shut down and valuable information could be lost. In addition, if the temperature gets hot enough, the circuitry could suffer permanent damage. It's best to take every precaution possible to keep the laptop properly ventilated.

Do not put the laptop on the floor because someone could accidentally step on it.

Always use a surge protector or power strip with a built-in surge protector when the laptop is plugged in to an outlet. This will protect the laptop from a voltage spike or surge, including lightening or short circuits.

Protect the laptop from spyware by installing Internet security software. Spyware or malware records personal data and sends it to a programmer or another third party to later be used for illegal purposes.

Password protect the laptop to prevent data from being lost, misused, or deleted by any person other than authorized users.

Clean the exterior, keyboard, and screen regularly to prevent the spread of germs.


First turn off and unplug the laptop, then wipe down the exterior and keyboard with a damp cotton cloth. The screen should be cleaned with a dry cotton cloth or just a dab of rubbing alcohol on the cloth for those hard to remove smudges. Never spray liquid directly on the laptop or use paper towels because they could scratch the screen.

While the laptop is on, do not move it around too much. The hard drive has moving parts and jostling it while it's running could damage those moving parts.

Do not store materials between the keyboard and screen while the laptop is closed. The screen could easily be scratched depending on the materials.

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Properly maintaining electronic equipment can be costly if precautions aren't taken. Given today's economy, it is not cost-effective to treat any electronic equipment precariously, especially laptops. Following these simple safety tips could help extend the life of the laptop and save you time and money by avoiding accidental damage to the laptop. If you have additional safety tips to share, please post a comment.