Turn off your laptop when going through security

As we barrel through the cold, snowy, dry months up here in the great American North, here’s another tip for going through security at the airport: if you’ve been working on your laptop outside of security and just closed the screen real quick to pass through to resume working, you may want to consider turning it all of the way off.

With humidity as low as it is, people generate a lot of static electricity when removing jackets, shoes, scarves and sweaters before going through the metal detector. Doubling that by putting everything back on, we now become supercharged as we dangerously, in slow motion, reach down to our hibernating notebook computers….. until ZAP! we discharge on them.

And it doesn’t take a genius to realize that any electrical discharge onto a live circuit could result in you frying the whole thing.

After shocking myself and my Thinkpad for the 500th time last weekend I said to the woman watching me pack up my stuff, “Dude, you should ground something here so I can discharge myself”

She replied “Dude, you should turn off your laptop”.

Wise words from the TSA. Amazing.