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VOL. 129 | NO. 160 | Monday, August 18, 2014

Lessons Learned From FAA’s Expanded Use of Electronics

By Patrick Tamburrino

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With business travel season heating up, it’s important to keep some technology etiquette in mind to avoid work liability issues and being a nuisance to those around you.

Patrick Tamburrino

As many of you road warriors know, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently relaxed some rules around the usage of portable electronic devices during commercial airline flights. This allows passengers to safely use their devices in airplane mode from gate to gate at the airlines’ discretion.

These newly expanded guidelines on in-flight electronics are a good reminder that your work is at risk during any type of travel. Be careful to not leave your technology sitting around in the terminal area or other public places, as they are quick targets.

Also be sure to check with your employer about "automatic wipe" features. If your personal device is attached to the work system, they can wipe it out remotely if they suspect it's lost/stolen or there is a work-related disagreement/dismissal.

Another key thing to consider on your next business trip is whether or not "homing device" software is/can be installed on your computer. These are great tools that track all of the information authorities need to help identify or track your device in the case of a loss or theft, including serial numbers, last known location (last on Wi-Fi/Internet) and remote wipe/lock/encryption capabilities.

And, any seasoned traveler can relate to sitting near that guy or gal – the loud talker or person that shares TMI before or after departure from the gate. Here are some general travel cellphone etiquette tips to stow away for future flights:

Do not talk loudly on your cell when you're in a quiet/work area – especially gate areas at the airport. Go somewhere else or rent a business suite if you have pressing matters to deal with.

While it’s great you just landed a big deal (or felt the need to chew out a co-worker), not everyone at the gate is interested. Also, think about the privacy of the information you're blasting out to everyone. Would your clients be happy to know that you, in an attempt to "be important," gave away some sort of trade secret(s)?

When you board the plane, you will be asked to shut off your cellphone or put it in airplane mode. DO IT. WHEN THEY ASK. Do not wait for a flight attendant to come and ask you. This slows the entire boarding process down (as does waiting until you are at your seat to remove your jacket and put it in the overhead, but I digress) and annoys your fellow travelers.

Finally, don’t forget to check the seat back pocket before you deplane for any personal electronic devices. Happy travels!

Patrick Tamburrino, president and technostrategist of tamburrino inc., can be reached at patrick@tamburrino.com, 489-8408, or via the Web at tamburrino.com.

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