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Should I bring my laptop overseas?

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Should I bring my laptop overseas?

Yes, always
7
88%
Yes if it's a safe, first-world country, No if it's not.
1
13%
No, never
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 8

Postby zzzz » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:25 pm

Jackal wrote:No, if you keep your passport, extra cash, credit cards, etc. in a money belt which you always wear under your pants, you can get by even if you temporarily live in a place which is not secure.


Yes, that's true, but I wouldn't exactly call it living if you are in constant fear of getting robbed and have to wear all your valuables on your person at all times. In such a dangerous environment I don't know why someone would want to stick around or how even a money belt would keep your stuff safe in the long term.
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Postby globetrotter » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:37 am

-If you put your files on a USB stick you will get viruses from the Internet Cafes. This happened to me in Mexico and my files were pulled and d/le'd to somewhere else.

-All internet cafes are unsecured in non-developed nations.

-China's all have spyware and steal your log in data and spam your Yahoo email accounts.

-Unwise to log in to this website if you are Winston, from a cafe. Log ins will be stolen and your site will be used to spam.

I suspect other nations are the same.

If you log in to your email you will end up spamming everyone on your contacts list. Has happened twice to me here, from the PC in my house. China spyware in everything.

Obviously, never ever log in to your bank from an internet cafe.
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Postby globetrotter » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:39 am

zzzz wrote:
Jackal wrote:No, if you keep your passport, extra cash, credit cards, etc. in a money belt which you always wear under your pants, you can get by even if you temporarily live in a place which is not secure.


Yes, that's true, but I wouldn't exactly call it living if you are in constant fear of getting robbed and have to wear all your valuables on your person at all times. In such a dangerous environment I don't know why someone would want to stick around or how even a money belt would keep your stuff safe in the long term.


That's what life is like in any major North American city. You have to be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables in front of you.

NY, DC, Chicago, Atlanta.

The US is no better.
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Postby Jackal » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:17 am

zzzz wrote:Yes, that's true, but I wouldn't exactly call it living if you are in constant fear of getting robbed and have to wear all your valuables on your person at all times.


I agree. Obviously, you need to find a secure place eventually in order to enjoy life. I'm just saying that it's wisest to assume that the place you're staying in is not secure at first until you see evidence that it is.

Over the weeks, you would see small indications if somebody was entering your apartment when you're not there. You eventually get a feeling what a place is like.

I just think it would be foolish to leave your valuables in a room in a hotel which you've never stayed in before in a country you've never been to before. Of course, people can do what they want. It depends how risk-averse you are. I'm not saying that valuables will definitely be stolen in such situations; I'm just saying that there is a chance of it.

zzzz wrote:In such a dangerous environment I don't know why someone would want to stick around or how even a money belt would keep your stuff safe in the long term.

Who said the environment was dangerous? In Eastern Europe, there is little violent crime compared to the US, but there is a lot of theft.

A money belt helps because no one in Europe is going to kill you or beat you unconscious and then search your body. The worst that can happen is that you'd just get robbed at knife-point. In such a situation, you'd just give them what you have in your pockets and they'd go away. They're not going to take the time to strip-search you if they can't see the outline of your money belt through your pants.
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Postby Winston » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:37 pm

globetrotter wrote:-If you put your files on a USB stick you will get viruses from the Internet Cafes. This happened to me in Mexico and my files were pulled and d/le'd to somewhere else.

-All internet cafes are unsecured in non-developed nations.

-China's all have spyware and steal your log in data and spam your Yahoo email accounts.

-Unwise to log in to this website if you are Winston, from a cafe. Log ins will be stolen and your site will be used to spam.

I suspect other nations are the same.

If you log in to your email you will end up spamming everyone on your contacts list. Has happened twice to me here, from the PC in my house. China spyware in everything.

Obviously, never ever log in to your bank from an internet cafe.


That's happened to a lot of people. I keep getting spam links from people who have emailed me in the past. How do they fix it? Would changing their password help?

Those links go nowhere too, so I don't understand the purpose of them?

I didn't know you weren't supposed to log into your bank or paypal from internet cafes. I used to do that all the time in the Philippines. I was lucky that nothing happened, except for that incident where my American Express card was used to pay for thousands of dollars of merchandise though. I still don't know how that happened, since I barely ever even used that card except at two large retailer stores.
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Postby Winston » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:40 pm

I used a money belt all throughout my trips in Russia. It was a pain in my side, and uncomfortable, and the sweat from my body would always make the belt smell, which was hard to wash out. I washed it out many times and the smell was still there. It was a real pain to wear, especially when you go to the beach and go swimming and you have nowhere to put it as you don't want to just leave it with your clothes on the beach.

Or, if you make love to a girl and while you're taking off your clothes you expose your money belt, she will instantly know where your valuables are. lol
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Postby Jackal » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:10 pm

Winston wrote:I used a money belt all throughout my trips in Russia. It was a pain in my side, and uncomfortable, and the sweat from my body would always make the belt smell, which was hard to wash out. I washed it out many times and the smell was still there. It was a real pain to wear, especially when you go to the beach and go swimming and you have nowhere to put it as you don't want to just leave it with your clothes on the beach.

Or, if you make love to a girl and while you're taking off your clothes you expose your money belt, she will instantly know where your valuables are. lol

There are many different types of money belts which are made of different materials.

Anyway, the important thing is to have a system which works for you and which mimizes your risk.

But yeah, sometimes leaving your valuables in the safe in your hotel room is the lesser of two evils if you plan on going swimming or screwing a girl.

I think safes in hotel rooms are generally okay, but some hotels just have a safe at the reception area and I really don't like the sound of that.
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Postby zzzz » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:33 pm

globetrotter wrote:That's what life is like in any major North American city. You have to be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables in front of you.

NY, DC, Chicago, Atlanta.

The US is no better.


Sure, but I live for instance in Chicago and feel pretty safe in most places. I'm sure I could get robbed in some areas but overall I feel very safe. I think part of it is just being used to the culture and people. I can read Americans much better than any other people for instance. I've never been robbed in Chicago or anywhere in the USA.

Jackal wrote:Who said the environment was dangerous? In Eastern Europe, there is little violent crime compared to the US, but there is a lot of theft.

A money belt helps because no one in Europe is going to kill you or beat you unconscious and then search your body. The worst that can happen is that you'd just get robbed at knife-point. In such a situation, you'd just give them what you have in your pockets and they'd go away. They're not going to take the time to strip-search you if they can't see the outline of your money belt through your pants.


That is probably true in most countries, the crooks will take your wallet/valuables and leave ASAP without much violence. I think it's dangerous to get robbed even if you aren't hurt. You lose your IDs, documents, money, credit cards, etc depending where you are those could be difficult to impossible to replace. If you are traveling alone in a foreign country without local friends you are in a bit of a quandary.

I have used a money belt before and they are essential when traveling anywhere a bit suspicious.

Also key loggers and similar programs are very easy to install, use, and hide to steal information on public computers. There are ones which will log everything and take screen shots as well. That is another reason to take your own laptop since you can use it for anything. I would never do banking or commercial transactions to buy things on a public computer.
Last edited by zzzz on Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby NorthAmericanguy » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:20 am

globetrotter wrote:-If you put your files on a USB stick you will get viruses from the Internet Cafes. This happened to me in Mexico and my files were pulled and d/le'd to somewhere else.

-All internet cafes are unsecured in non-developed nations.

-China's all have spyware and steal your log in data and spam your Yahoo email accounts.

-Unwise to log in to this website if you are Winston, from a cafe. Log ins will be stolen and your site will be used to spam.

I suspect other nations are the same.

If you log in to your email you will end up spamming everyone on your contacts list. Has happened twice to me here, from the PC in my house. China spyware in everything.

Obviously, never ever log in to your bank from an internet cafe.


I do know people install Key loggers on home computers to find out if a lover is cheating, but I did not think that using a cafe WIFI somebody could use a key logger and find out information on you; the cafe customer.
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Postby YoucancallmeAl » Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:56 pm

Thanx all for the ideas.
'Nother question:
My current laptop is a piece of shit I've had for 3.5 years and is getting slower and slower and freezing up all the time.
Since I'm planning to go to the Philippines in just a couple months (and spend 8+ months there), should I buy a new laptop BEFORE I leave or bring the shitty one on the road and buy a new one once I get there?
In other words, are there better cheaper deals on laptops in poorer countries or are they just as expensive no matter where you go?
Last edited by YoucancallmeAl on Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby YoucancallmeAl » Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:59 pm

btw, speaking of internet security concerns,
when I turned on my laptop yesterday my McAfee security scan identified THIS website, Happier Abroad as a threat.
It said it has "significant risks" and is a "dangerous website".
WTF?
Do we have a hacker in our midst?
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Postby Winston » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:50 pm

I'd get a new laptop before I went. The ones in the Philippines are more expensive. The US has cheaper prices on laptops than Asia.

This site had viruses before when I was running Clicksor ads. But not anymore. I don't know why McAfee still has a warning there, or how to remove it.
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Postby zzzz » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:54 am

Definitely get a laptop in the USA before you go. Filipino electronic stores are usually months behind the latest tech and much more expensive. McAfee is crap, use a free anti-virus like AVG or Avira AntiVir.
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Postby The_Adventurer » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:18 am

Northamericanguy wrote:
I do know people install Key loggers on home computers to find out if a lover is cheating, but I did not think that using a cafe WIFI somebody could use a key logger and find out information on you; the cafe customer.


They can't. It doesn't work over WIFI. If you're using your own computer via WIFI in a cafe you're safe. We are talking about going into an internet cafe and using their computers. Who knows what software is installed on it? That's why you never do banking or other important things on there.
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Postby Jackal » Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:22 am

Another thing to consider is whether you want a laptop with a layout specifically for the local language. Most guys on here don't seem to care much about learning languages, but keyboard layouts are a legitimate concern if you do care. It can be very awkward to have to insert symbols or press down 2 or 3 keys every time you need to type a special letter for a foreign language.

I waited til I was in Hungary to buy laptop because I wanted one with a Hungarian keyboard (it has a few extra keys for their special letters, so I can type Hungarian words like "törülközőtartó" easily).
Image

However, I got the store to special order Windows XP in English to install on it to makes things easier (I f***ing hate Vista!). I also got Microsoft Word in Hungarian from my school. So it's the best of both worlds and I can switch between Hungarian and English keyboard layouts.

In Hungary, electronics are usually about the same price as in America.
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