How Hard Is It To Learn A Programming Language?

Many will say that it’s hard to learn to code. It’s a sad fact that many of these people fail and then give up.

What these people don’t understand is that there is no such thing as “instant code”. It will take some time and practice to become a suitable encoder. If you expected to be able to write programs for IBM in just a week – or even a month – it’s no wonder that it’s hard for you.

So, if you’re looking for a magic bullet that will turn you into an instant action programmer, you are in the wrong place. But what you will find is an explanation of why many people find coding difficult and how to make it easier.

Why Coding is So Hard

A lot of people get excited about “learning the code”. They expect to become professionals in the sphere of code development after finishing a couple of lessons. They find a few code learning materials online, fill them in, but then realize that they won’t achieve anything. They know that they are not coding professionals, and they don’t know how to create a website or application.

That’s when they give up and say:

  • “This is too hard for me!”
  • “I’m not smart enough!”
  • “I’m just not made for coding!”

However, it doesn’t have to be like this. Coding isn’t hard. It just takes more time and practice than you might expect. To be a competent encoder, you need to learn how to produce products, not just write code.

To become a web developer, you need to be able to make a website, not just write HTML tags.

To be a mobile developer, you need to be able to create applications, not just build objects in Objective-C or Java (though, with service like codewars.com and codegym.cc learning Java became much more easier today)

Most coding tutorials do not cover these things, so it is no wonder that people get upset and give up. The reason you might think it’s “hard” is that you don’t get results. However, you have to understand that to develop your coding skills. You can’t just boldly follow the instructions in a textbook. You have to take responsibility and start doing it.

Starting Your Project

The key to developing your coding skills is to put down the textbook and start your self-managed coding project. This could be an application, a website, or anything related to what you are learning. It doesn’t have to be a massive project – it’s just a small project to help you apply the skills you’ve learned.

Remember, your ultimate goal should not only be to study the code, but also to produce the product. It will give you the experience you need to become a professional coder, and at the same time give you a result you can be proud of.

When you finish your first product, start another one! This is the way forward. The more you get used to creating things, the more you learn, the more accessible coding will be for you.

Computer programming languages are not easy to learn, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn them either. In many ways, coding is like cooking – you are required to follow a set of instructions without leaving room for errors.

It also helps if you understand that the most common condition for a programmer, especially for a new programmer, is a feeling of being incapable. Learning is almost limitless, so programmers have to learn new tools, languages, and technologies all the time.

Learning a computer programming language is like learning everything else – it will be easier for some people and harder for others. Whether or not you find it difficult to program depends not only on your personality but also on your computer skills. According to Brian Feldman, a robotics specialist and founder of Feldman Consulting Enterprises, there are several key personality traits that programmers must be successful with (among others):

  • Almost unlimited tenacity to continue trying to troubleshoot, fix, and develop
  • Excellent short-term and long-term memory
  • To understand how everything is interconnected.
  • Excellent attention to detail

If you don’t have these traits, you can still learn to encode. However, your experience of learning a new programming language can be more complicated than for someone with a programming personality.

Which Programming Languages are the Easiest? Hardest?

WP Engine has interviewed almost 1000 developers (presumably in 2017) and asked which languages are the easiest and most challenging to learn. If you are interested in learning to code and want to know where to start, the results of the WP Engine Developer Survey can help you make a decision.

Most natural Programming Languages To Learn

When the question “What do programmers think is the easiest language?”. 

They replied that the five easiest languages to learn are:

  • HTML 
  • Python
  • JavaScript 
  • PHP

Hardest programming languages to learn

On the other hand, the question “What do programmers think is the most complex language?”.

Complex means that it is difficult to read, understand, debug, and maintain, and difficult to learn.

 The five most difficult ones are:

  • Build
  • C#
  • TeX 
  • Goal C
  • C

Choosing Your First Programming Language

While it may be useful to consider which languages other programmers think the most straightforward and most challenging to learn, the truth is that, like any different foreign language, learning code will require some effort and dedication. For this reason, the best question to ask rather than which language is the easiest to learn is – why do I want to learn coding in the first place?

Below is an overview of the most common ways to use some of the most relevant, popular computer programming languages:

​Languages​Most Common Uses
​Python​Web and internet development, scientific computing, graphical user interfaces (GUIs)
​Java​Internet of Things (IoT), enterprise architecture, cloud computing
​Ruby​Web app development, robotics, networking, system administration, and security
​HTML​Web development, email programming
​JavaScript​Front-end website development, gaming development
​C​Artificial intelligence, computer graphics, image processing, systems programming
​C++​System/application software, client-server applications, embedded firmware
​C#​Windows-based platforms
​Objective C​Software development
​PHP​Web application development, server-side scripting, command line scripting

If you plan to become a web developer, for example, you can learn Python, HTML, and/or Ruby. If you want to develop and build applications, think about learning PHP or C++. Either way, the first step is to find out what you would like to do as a programmer, and then find out which language to aspire to.

To Sum It Up

There are several different routes you can follow to become a developer or programmer. You can learn to program by yourself, thanks to a lot of online resources dedicated to teaching people how to read, write, and interpret code. 

However, if you want to learn the theoretical basics of computer programming to do more than write code, you may want to consider a master’s degree in computer science.

Creating a WordPress Website: Using Plugins to Increase Performance

Whether you want a website for personal or business purposes, WordPress is a great option. Using WordPress themes and plugins, even a novice can set up a stylish, high-performance website.

Before starting with WordPress, you need to choose a web host.

Finding the Right Hosting Provider

Before setting up a ​WordPress website​, select a hosting provider. You must find a reputable company that offers a feature-rich plan within your budget. Before you check out potential hosting providers, think about what you need from hosting and make a list. It’ll make it easier to compare similar plans.

If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, here are a few essential features to consider:

  • ​A free domain name
  • An SSL certificate
  • Adequate data storage
  • One of the popular control panels
  • WordPress as a quick, or one-click, install

When you have your list, consult one or two popular web hosting review sites and see who they recommend. Below is a list of popular web hosts who have easy WordPress installation:

  • ​Bluehost
  • GoDaddy
  • ​HostGator
  • SiteGround
  • ​Hostinger

Check out web host websites before making a final decision. You don’t want any hidden surprises. It’s often difficult and costly getting out of a contract. Once you have hosting, it’s time to create your WordPress website. Begin by choosing a theme.

Selecting Your Ideal Website

Creating a website with WordPress is simple. Most of the tasks required are click-and-drag. There are thousands of website themes available from within WordPress (in the repository). Many are free or low-cost. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself or want a unique design, you may want to ​consider hiring a website designer​ to help build your website.

Whatever your requirements, there are themes for every situation. Your website has to look good, but there are other considerations. Ask yourself:

  • Is your theme regularly updated?
  • Will it work on mobile devices?
  • Is the template optimized for speed?

If you struggle to find a suitable theme in the repository, check out some websites that specialize in WordPress themes. Or you can hire somebody to create one (or design it yourself, if you have the skills). Below are some websites that offer WordPress themes:

  • elegantthemes.com
  • ​​themeforest.net
  • templatemonster.com
  • ​athemes.com

After choosing a WordPress theme, it’s time to install it and set it up. WordPress makes this painless, even for someone unfamiliar with website development. Following this, it’s time to optimize your website. You can do this with some WordPress plugins.

Use Plugins to Enhance Your Website

Plugins enhance your WordPress website and add functionality. If you want to add a feature to your site, there will be a plugin. The easiest way to find and install a plugin is from the WordPress back-end (called the Dashboard). You will see a Plugin section, and that has a plugin search. Once you find what you want, it’s a simple matter of clicking the install button.

If you can’t find the right plugin in WordPress, you can find free and paid plugins on third-party websites, but these may need manual installation. Only select reputable plugins. WordPress should inform you if a plugin is affecting how your site performs. If you notice an issue and receive no warnings, disable one plugin at a time and see if you can diagnose the problem.

Here are a few plugins you may find interesting.

  • Contact Form 7 or WP Forms – Add forms to a web page
  • UpdraftPlus – perform WordPress back-ups
  • WooCommerce – set up an ecommerce store
  • Constant Contact and OptinMonster – help with email marketing
  • Beaver Builder or Divi Plugin – add additional drag-and-drop functions to web design
  • MemberPress – create online communities and membership sites
  • Shared Counts – a social media plugin
  • WPML – make your site multilingual
  • ImageInject – adds free license images (from Flickr) to your content

Now let’s discuss the specifics of how to optimize WordPress with plugins.

Speed Up Your Website

Simple issues can hamper the page ​load speed of a website​, such as image sizes or large data uploads. Search engines and visitors prefer websites that load without delay. There are on-site optimizations you can do, but why not use a handy plugin tailored to speed up your website?

Plugins to help with site speed:

  • WP Smush – compress images
  • WP Super Cache, WP Rocket, W3 Cache – improve page load speed

Search Engine Performance

If no one can find your website, it negates all the work you’ve done on design and performance. Search engines need to index your site and crawl its pages. A robots.txt file helps them to do so. WordPress creates one during install, but you can improve on that using a plugin.

  • ​Better Robots.txt or Virtual Robots.txt – give better control and help optimize a robots.txt file.

You can improve how search engines crawl your site by using a plugin to create an XML sitemap.

  • Google XML Sitemaps

When they crawl your website, search engines assess factors that will affect its placement on a search engine results page (SERP). You want your WordPress site to be high on page one. You can help by ensuring your ​website has good SEO​(search engine optimization). Save yourself time and effort and use a plugin.

SEO plugins:

  • ​YoastSEO
  • PrePost SEO

Improve the Links

Links are an integral part of the online experience. Search engines and visitors use them to navigate to and through a website. You can improve how your website performs by monitoring your external and internal links.

  • ​Only link to relevant websites.
  • ​Your internal linking has to be logical and thorough.
  • ​Check your links work. Do they go where they point?
  • ​If you move a page, set up a redirect for the old URL.

These two plugins help to optimize link architecture.

  • ​Pretty Links Pro
  • SEO Internal Links

Tighten Up Security

Websites get hacked. WordPress sites are no exception. You have anti-virus on your home computer, so why not add one to your website? A web host will have security on their end, so should you. Add some additional defense with a plugin:

  • WordFence Security
  • ​Securi

If you’re using WordPress as a blog and have not disabled comments, you could get spam.

There are plugins to stop your comments from being abused.

  • Akismet Anti-Spam

Analyze Website Performance

When upgrading the speed and performance of a website, you must make sure the optimizations and enhancements are working. You can perform manual checks, such as opening your website from a search engine or clicking through its pages. An in-depth analysis of website performance is preferable, and for this, you need one of the analytic plugins.

  • ​Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
  • ​MonsterInsights

Don’t Underestimate Content

We shouldn’t ignore the impact of content when discussing website performance. You can check and improve content, as with any other part of a website. Content is of immense importance to web users and search engines, and affects website reputation, popularity, and search rank

You can optimize the images and links within content, but how about actual written material? There are plugins to help improve the quality of textual content (in terms of readability and engagement). For example, the Word Stat plugin highlights:

  • Content that is too difficult for readers to understand
  • Posts that are too short
  • ​Too many keywords in a post
  • ​The 20 most used keywords on the website
  • ​Word count of different content

Keep Everything Up-To-Date

For your website to run smoothly and in sync with web browsers and devices, it’s crucial to use the latest version of WordPress and its plugins. Install updates, when available, to help your WordPress remain bug-free. If you find that a plugin becomes unsupported, stops working or develops issues after a WordPress update, search for an update. If none is available, remove the offending plugin and look for a substitute.

Don’t Go Overboard

Plugin fever is real. You go crazy and install every plugin you come across. Please show some restraint. Some plugins are more resource-hungry than others, and ​too many can slow your website to a crawl or cause unexpected glitches​. First, install plugins that enhance website performance. Then add others one at a time. If there are no issues, install your next plugin

Give Your Website a Plugin Boost

Taking the time to choose the right web host and WordPress theme gives you a running start on developing a high-performance website. Smart plugin selection will help your WordPress sprint to the finish line. There are many great plugins available to help you build your perfect site. Do the research, then experiment, and analyze. Try to have fun!

6 Steps Every New B2B Venture Should Adopt for Success in 2020

One of the most challenging factors of starting a new business is the high level of competition, limited budget and lack of experience. All three factors can lead your business to go down the line and eventually shut down before you actually hit the break-even point. However, we can help you change that with a few steps that we have saved in our playbook. All you have to do is utilize the following path and witness your B2B startup survive in this competitive modern B2B environment.

1. Finalize Your Product or Service

The first question that you should ask yourself while planning on starting your new B2B company is what you’re going to sell. There are millions of products and services you can choose to work on. However, your final decision should always be considering your current geo-location, budget and area of expertise. Once you have finalized the product or service you plan on selling, you can move forward with other factors of starting your new venture.

2. Come up With an Attractive Brand Name

Your goods and services will always be recognized by the brand name you choose to market. The name of your business or brand plays a significant role in your organization. You could go for something short and easy to remember, or if you are confident that your marketing strategies will help you survive, then you can even use your own name to launch your new business. However, considering the rising level of competition between B2B companies, we advise that you introduce a brand name that is both unique and catchy. If you can make your brand name to be remembered by all those that see your promotional activity, no one can stop you from reaching your next milestone.

3. Identify Your Target Audience

Though this may not seem like an important step, yet knowing your audience is essential to make sure your marketing efforts aren’t wasted. Once your brand name and products are identified, you have to determine which sector of the population you plan on reaching out to. If you are a toy manufacturer, you’ll be on the hunt for local and international wholesalers that sell toys. Or you can even attract leading supermarkets that have the potential to sell your products to the final consumer rapidly. On the other hand, if you are starting an organization that offers financial services and products like, insurance, bonds, or consultancy, then you’d have to look for both businessmen and individuals who are interested in investing their money.

Without knowing your audience, it might become a challenge for you to choose the right marketing technique and set the ideal budget for this purpose. Also, if you plan on focusing on social media marketing, then targeting an audience can save you both time and money in generating high-quality leads.

4. Manage Your Budget

Before initiating any sort of promotional activity, you have to determine the budget. Budgeting is a crucial step that all startups have to focus on. Once you are aware of how much and when you can spend what amount of money on promoting your brand and products, you can take better and smarter decisions.

5. Signup Your Business on an Online B2B Marketplace

One of the fastest and most reliable way of becoming a recognized business virtually is by merely joining a Chinese B2B platform or any reputable international marketplace for businesses. A B2B marketplace is an online platform that features international B2B companies that belong to various industries. Once you get listed on a B2B directory, you’ll eventually be seen by other buyers that belong to the same industry. Also, you can even use this directory to connect with your next lifetime client.

Apart from that, many leading B2B portals even offer additional digital services to help you become a competitive online brand. From creating your website to get it ranked and generating leads, all can be provided to you by such B2B marketplaces. Therefore, we believe such a platform is the perfect opportunity a B2B startup needs to survive in the B2B environment.

6. Choose the Best Marketing Strategy

Last but not least, you need to choose a marketing strategy that will help you generate leads and achieve business growth. This step is mentioned at the end, as without the above-mentioned plans; you can’t initiate your marketing campaign. Once you are done finalizing your product and brand, know your audience and budget, you can choose a relevant marketing strategy to kick start your promotional activity.

You can either go for traditional marketing or digital marketing strategies. Your choice will strongly depend on your product, audience and budget.

Wrap Up

Starting a B2B venture is no walk in the park. It can take years to eventually make enough to survive in this competitive market. However, with the right plan and resources, you can finally manage to succeed and set up a profit-making business. Follow all the steps mentioned above, so that you can prepare your venture to tackle all hurdles and survive this journey.

A Brief Guide on Optimizing your Product Page SEO on Amazon

When users search for a specific product, listings don’t appear magically in a random manner with vendors hoping their product will be picked. You need to work hard on your product page and ensure that the SEO is fully optimized. Just like Google, Amazon is going to use an algorithm that will pick up on cues that are strengthened using SEO.

So before you spend money on an Amazon SEO consultant, you might want to follow some of the tips given below to see if it makes a difference. If nothing, this guide will help you reach the basic standard that any quality vendor would implement in their listings.

Keyword Research

Before listing your product, carry out some research on keywords depending on your target audience and the type of product you want to list. Focus on long-tailed keywords and keep your research consumer-focused rather than having a generalized viewpoint. Even though your research will be focused on the viewpoint, you need to be as vast as possible with your coverage because even one missed keyword can make all the difference in the world.

Be Smart with your Content

Now that you’ve got all your keywords figured out, you need to be smart when it comes to usage. First and foremost, make sure that you aren’t pasting all the relevant keywords wherever you can find some space. You need to be organic with their usage and keep the flow of information consistent and intact throughout the page. Even if you have every keyword possible included in your content, if the information doesn’t follow a format and comes off as forced, the search algorithms will ignore the content and your page’s ranking is going to suffer. Your keywords need to be integrated into the information of the product rather than the other way around.

When it comes to images, use high-resolution HD images with a zoom enhance function if possible. This improves the buyer usability experience on the page and by extension the Amazon website. The better the user experience, the better your page will rank as this is one aspect that the search engine algorithm also follows.

Be Consistent with the Formatting of your Text

Whatever font, size, and tone you might choose for the text on your page, you need to ensure that it remains consistent throughout its entirety. The inconsistency leads to bad overall user experience and is likely to impact your SEO rating.

Present information in an organized manner and use bullets for different aspects of information. Your font type and size should be the same throughout the description and you need to check on spelling and grammar as these small errors can also have a significant impact on your page rating.

Amazon Guidelines

It also helps if you read the Amazon guidelines. These aren’t just rules that vendors are supposed to follow, but rather a format which helps Amazon organize all its listings and makes it easier to display them to the buyer. 

Trendiest Ways of Food services Using Digital Marketing

In this age of digitalization, being an owner of any foodservice, you must invest an amount of thought about an excellent online appearance of your business to reach more and more people, besides having an offline brick and mortar appearance. With the coming of social media networks, e-commerce websites, and mobile devices, getting your foodservice noticed depends a lot on the online recommendation, customer ratings, reviews, pictures of your restaurant with a pleasant ambiance, etc. 

Nowadays, several successful bakeries and start-up food services use the modern platform of digital marketing very skillfully to grow faster by applying tactics like amazing visual content, loyalty programs, geo-targeted ads, and other online branded business identities. 

Here, in this article, we will be helping you with such enormous business ideas to land your food business strongly in an online platform.

1. Create a food blog:

Make an interesting food blog with lots of information, engaging stories, pictures of food, etc. You also need to update your page regularly and keep your page up to date show up in the desired place of the search engine results and drive a lot of traffic for your website. 

Also updating interesting things regularly will turn your searchers into the regular visitor of your page and the visitors into constant customers. For example, Ceres PR is one of the best Food PR agencies in the UK who post amazing blogs over many intriguing topics on their page to stay in good attention of the search engines. 

2. Share engaging posts on social media:

You should know the procedure of paid traffic driven to your blog by successfully using advertising campaigns through social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook. In this process, you need to invest a little bit of money, but it is definitely worth it. When considering the huge number of audiences you can be connected with, the amount of buzz you can create with your next food content launch. 

3. Approach other bloggers to promote your business:

Find out some other bloggers who provide food services like you or other services and ask them to promote your page. Before choosing any ensure that the audiences of those blogs are the consumers that you are trying to reach. 

Today, one of the most widely used and successful strategies of digital marketing for food products is to collaborate with food bloggers and ask them to promote your food business.

4. Arrange engaging things like live videos, online contests, and events:

To get more and more engaging audience for your page, you need to really interact with people through social media. You can host an open-house event, food tasting, or even a new dish launching at your restaurant. 

The easiest and useful way to broaden your exposure to the viewers is by running contests that demand your audience to engage with your social media appearance also you can arrange some exciting gifts. Another useful idea would be to promote your service through videos made with the past reviews you have achieved.

Conclusion

So, in this article, we have tried to write down some beneficial tips for you to stand out with your foodservice. We hope it will be helpful for you.

Steps Freelancers Should Take To Set Up Their Own Business

In today’s hectic schedules people find it tough to maintain a perfect working job and look for easier alternatives. Setting up a freelancing business is a step that most such people take so that they get the flexibility of working at their own pace. However, doing so requires a lot of effort and patience in the initial years and here we share with you steps that freelancers should take to set up their own business.

Define the Goals 

First and foremost you need to find out what goals you want to achieve by setting up this business. Is it that you want to make money or you are just starting the business to a network? Whatever kind of goal-long term or short term you have to take care that you are clear enough about it. You would also need to find what niche you want to make your career in. Are you interested in writing, designing or software development? The choice of the stream would pave the way for your prospects.

Invoicing

Obviously, you would not be working for free and the payment needs to be prompt. If you are looking for a long term work then prepare an invoice format that you would want all your clients to fill. The invoice should have all the details of the work you have done along with the payment you should receive. Alongside you may also need to set clear payment terms about the frequency of payment and any late charges that you impose in case of a delay. 

Finding the Right Clients 

Next up you need to find out places where you can find clients which would be profitable for you. Normally there are many job boards that can give you a breakthrough. However, it is not necessary that all the job boards would have trustworthy clients pertaining to your field. You may have to look around and figure out which ones are the best places to invest your energy in. Don’t make the mistake of dabbling into all kinds of industries at one shot. Instead, keep it limited to just 2-3 niches where you feel you can derive the maximum benefit.

Price Setting

Next, you would have to set a particular price for the work you are offering. When such a situation arises you must first find out what the average rate for this kind of service is. If you charge more than what the existing rate is then you should have a solid reason behind doing so. Until you are set perfectly in the business you may have to compromise on your rate but later on, you need to maintain a fixed stand. 

Conclusion

If you are deciding to foray into the freelancing field be prepared for disappointment and successes as well. By following the above tips though you should be able to make good money within a few months of starting. Expect some harsh work in the beginning though things should simplify in a year or two. Keep your horizons opened and set payment terms clear before any deal to avoid any confusion later.

3 Digital Advertising Techniques You Should Consider

Are you looking for new ways to advertise your business? It may be that you want to promote a specific product, re-brand or reach a new audience,  and to do this, you will need effective advertising tools. When deciding on your advertising strategy, you should consider the different types of digital marketing you could use, as this is the most effective way to promote your business, engage with your target audience and boost your sales. Take a look at these popular digital advertising tools, which will help your business create an online profile to be proud of.

Virtual Reality

One of the most forward-thinking tools is virtual reality technology, which is designed to create situations which feel entirely realistic for the user. While this is a fairly new advertising tool, it has been beneficial for a variety of industries. This includes the property sector, with companies like RW Invest using it to market their off-plan buy to let properties. Potential investors can plug into their VR devices to discover what the final product will look before they make any investment commitments.

Car companies, like Renault, also use VR technology as an alternative to test drives, which has resulted in a massive boost in car sales. This is also a cost-efficient and timely way of advertising their car models, as it avoids any car handling errors and enables staff to make immediate sales on the day.

Social Media

Arguably the most effective marketing tool is social media advertising, as it allows businesses to connect directly to customers. The majority of companies utilize social media to advertise products, communicate with customers, collect data and more. By using social media, companies can cut costs massively, and although some elements involve payment, there are many ways you can promote your business for free on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Businesses have an unlimited amount of options when advertising on social media, although you need to make sure that you choose the right tools for your sector. Many industries have found success on Instagram, which is the fastest growing social media platform in 2019. The Instagram Stories tool has been especially effective, with spend statistics showing that the overall amount spent on this type of advertising has doubled by 18%. Stories ads are excellent for one-off promotions, as the advert will only last for 24 hours, so it forces customers to act fast, helping them make quick sales.

This is due to the effectiveness of swipe up option which links straight to their site, enabling customers to purchase their products in one or two clicks.

Email Marketing

The effectiveness of email marketing is definitely underrated, as many companies brush it aside, as it is seen as one of the most annoying types of advertising. Despite this, businesses have found great success with email marketing campaigns. This is most likely because their email campaigns feature high-quality content and uniquely connect with their target audience. 

Email marketing experts believe there are several guidelines you should follow to ensure your campaign is successful. This includes using the sender’s name in the email, which is possible when using email marketing software like MailChimp or GetResponse. You should also make sure you send out emails at prime times in the day to ensure you connect with your target audience at the right time. It is also essential that you keep content as simple as possible in order to generate clicks and potential sales. 

How To Protect Your Laptop While Traveling

There are multiple aspects to keeping a laptop safe. It does you little good to encrypt your laptop against malware if you conduct actions which leave it wide open to thieves, and vice versa. Here are a few tips to help keep your device safe and your trip relaxed.

Your laptop is probably the most expensive thing on you when you are traveling, and yet it is incredibly fragile. Few things can ruin a vacation faster than losing your laptop to theft, viruses, or other threats, especially if you are in an area on the globe where you may be unable to easily obtain a new one.

Get a New, Padded Laptop Backpack

A good laptop backpack is a major first step towards protecting your laptop from bumps, falls, water, and other damaging things. PC Magazine has a list of good backpacks, though you can check Amazon or any office or electronics store in the area.

When you are selecting a backpack, prioritize checking its padding above anything else. Also look for multiple compartments so that you can store just the laptop in a single compartment instead of squishing it alongside clothes and wires and other things. Go for functionality over style, as the only people you will end up attracting with a cool backpack are thieves. 

Note that you should try to get a backpack instead of a briefcase or messenger bag. A briefcase is a clear sign to unsavory individuals that something valuable is inside, and is easier to rip away from you than a properly secured backpack. It is also easy to carry a backpack on a long hike instead of awkwardly shifting a messenger bag from shoulder to shoulder.

Stay Alert

If you leave your laptop unattended in a public space for a minute or two to use the bathroom, you may as well kiss it goodbye. Laptops are prime candidates for thieves, whether it is for the value of the data in the laptop or for the device itself. And while you can lock your computer or even put a cable lock around it to deter thieves, your best weapon against them is constant vigilance.

 Take your laptop with you wherever you go, instead of leaving it in the hotel. But also keep it out of sight when you can. Keep it in a backpack, or cover it with a jacket. The less people know where your laptop, the less likely anything bad will happen to it.

Backup your Data

You should be regularly backing up your data already, but it is important to do a full backup right before you go on a trip. Store all of your important data on an external hard drive or in the cloud so that you do not lose any critical data on top of losing your computer. Create a log of passwords outside the computer so that anyone who gains access cannot access personal records.

Also consider backing up your data while you are on the trip itself. If you have created any documents or files on the trip, store them on a CD or USB drive in your hotel at the end of the day and put those things in a secure place.

Use a VPN instead of public Wi-Fi

Sitting in a café in some foreign land and connecting to the Internet may seem like the epitome of how globalization brings us together, but doing anything on a public Wi-Fi can be extremely dangerous. The problem is that as CSO Online describes, hackers can easily position themselves between yourself and the connection point. This gives them access to any data you send out, such as your email passwords, business data, and credit card data. Even if you are just logging into some internet forum or checking sports scores, they can use any information to deduce personal information about you. Furthermore, hackers can also send data back and infect your computer with malware.

Consequently, you should be looking to connect online as little as possible. If you are in a situation where you absolutely must connect, use a trustworthy VPN which will encrypt your data. If you are not sure what a VPN is, cooltechzone has an excellent guide on what they are and how to set one up.

Note that a VPN will not make your data completely hackproof. But the hacker will likely not want to make the effort when there are other computers sending unencrypted data. Your company should provide you with a VPN you can use when traveling abroad. Also make sure to turn wi-fi off when not using it, as the computer is still transmitting data when it is on.

Should You Leave Your Laptop at Home?

Your laptop will face numerous threats when traveling that it will never have to deal with if you leave it at home. So maybe you should not take your laptop at all.

This is especially true if you are on vacation. You are traveling to see the world and explore new sights, not stay hooked to the Internet like you are on most days. And even if you want to stay connected to some degree, Trip Savvy points out that a tablet or phone can serve just as well for someone just on vacation. The only major reason to bring a laptop along is if you may have to work when traveling.

If you really, truly, absolutely must bring a computer along, consider bringing in a cheaper laptop. Do you still have that old, slow, dying laptop lying around which you replaced with your brand new device? Take the old one instead. You may be frustrated with longer loading times, but you will not have to be looking over your shoulder all the time out of fear of losing or damaging it.