Quick Security Tip: Get the right laptop

On a trip a couple of weeks ago, security was a little more chaotic than I was expecting. Right before I went through the line a group of school aged children came through, so I wasn’t paying as much attention to my stuff as I should. I ended up sending my computer through the x-ray machine in a bin with my purse on top of it. Whoops! The TSO grabbed the bin, then sent it through the machine without my purse on top. So I was standing there waiting a little longer than normal. I knew that I was looking for my laptop, so as soon as I saw a blue Dell come through I grabbed it and started to walk away. Except that it was NOT mine, and it actually belonged to the guy in line after me. Whoops again!!

So here is my recommendation: before you walk away from the security line, just take a glance at your stuff to make sure you grabbed the right bins. I realized as soon as I picked it up that the computer I grabbed was bigger than mine (and heavier!) but if it had been the same size I totally would have just left with it. That would have been a catastrophe! Another idea I read about is to tape your business card to the bottom of your laptop in case it gets misplaced during travel. So next time I will definitely be more careful, and make sure I have my own computer.

Readers, have you ever taken something at security that wasn’t yours ?


  1. Once, the guy before me left his cell phone in a bin, and i was so focused on chasing him to give him his phone back, i left mine in my bin. Fortunately someone was honest enough to turn it in to security; i hadn’t even noticed it was gone.

  2. I have a large flower sticker in the top of my Lenovo Think Pad to prevent this! It is the type of sticker that goes on walls, so I should be able to remove it when my employer wants it back. It’s from Etsy.

  3. A) I usually put my laptop in upside down. I’ve noticed most people don’t do this (until this is published) so I’m less likely to pick up someone else’s.

    B) For my personal laptop, I put my business card under the battery case. For my work laptop, I tape the card on the bottom. Then with the laptop upside down, its easy to know this one is mine.

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