How do you protect your tech gear from theft while travelling?

So, I’m about to become a digital nomad later this year. Right now I’m in the preparation mode and looking for useful information that will help me to achieve living like a digital nomad without having to deal with beginner problems…

I have traveled before, so I have some experiences, but not long term travelling in poor countries. Just been living abroad in several countries in Europe for 3-6 months in the same place. I will visit both South East Asia and South America, so I would like to have some helpful tips about security and how to avoid theft.

So basically, if you’d like to share your experiences: How do you protect your tech gear from theft while travelling?

I favor rooms and rentals with a safe or secure storage. There are travel backpacks that are marketed as a comfortable safe that you wear on your back, but that seems a bit extreme.

mostly, don’t do stupid shit. don’t flash your gear, don’t leave it unattended, don’t carry it with you when you don’t need to, don’t carry it late at night, etc. same rules as how to keep yourself safe for the most part.

Thank you for your input. How do you deal with potential theft in your home while you are not there? This is my biggest fear… Or some idiot trying to steal your camera while taking pictures in less traveled areas.

Are hostel safety lockers really safe? I have read some cases where things got stolen anyways…

The advices given previously are pretty good.

One thing I do when a hotel has no locker or feels unsafe. Just give your valuables in a very regular (if not cheap) bag to the receptionist. And take a picture with him, cheeeeeese. If anything happens to it, you at least know who took it from you. Don’t put cash in that bag.

Regarding safes/rooms being broken into, like everywhere in the world, staff has a copy of all doors and locks. Bring your own lock with you if you use a safe from a hotel.

Another thing: uglify your gear. Make it look older, broken, low quality. Some people put tape around their cameras to do that, you can add any other sticky material. For your computer, you can first put a plastic shell to it and then put loads of ugly tape and stickers to it, the day you are back in a safe place you can simply remove the shell and it’ll look as new.

Finally, get a decent travel belongings insurance. In some regions of the world it’s considered exceptional to be able to travel for several months without getting robbed (yes I look at you Latin America!). Make sure you back up your work to the cloud as often as possible and keep good track of your computer setup (it can take days to setup a computer from scratch, nevermind if you don’t know exactly what it was). I’m no expert at this field, but there might be some service providing the option to take full images of your computer every now and then, so if it’s stolen you can at least have a look at that image and possibly restore it to a new computer.

I always use 2 things :
I put my money inside, and I lock it on a chair or something difficult to move. In some countries (madagascar) it’s difficult because the biggest banknote is 3€, but usually it’s OK.
I also use a computer lock :

I put the key inside the boxlock in the first picture.
I put my phone or other thing in my desk. If something is stolen, I see it immediately.
I sleep in about 30 hotels and no problem for the moment…

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Pacsafe have some nice accessories, portable safes and locks for laptops and cameras.