Cybersecurity Border Crossing and Travel Tips
When traveling or crossing through border controls there are a few cybersecurity tips and best practices you should follow.
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The below tips do not apply to any one country. The below tips are recommended by the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Because you don't have anything to hide doesn't mean that you shouldn't value your own privacy.
Backup Your Devices
Before traveling backup any devices you will be taking across the border. Cloud backups are a great option because you can access them anywhere you have an internet connection. If you backup your devices to an external hard drive then leave it at home and make sure that it is encrypted.
Reduce the Data You Carry
If you have sensitive information on your devices remove it before going through a border crossing.
Encrypt Your Devices
You should always encrypt your devices regardless of whether or not you are traveling. However, if you plan to travel and haven’t encrypted your devices you need to do so. That way if the device is lost, stolen, or seized no one but you has access to the device.
Power Off Devices at Border Crossings
When you power off a device it will require a password when it is powered back on. For mobile devices, this may also include a sim card pin. A powered-off device is also not sending any signals out that can be intercepted. You may turn your devices back on after leaving the border crossing area.
Do not Use Biometric Locks/Authentication
Avoid using biometric authentication to access your devices. A border agent may force you to use your finger or scan your face to unlock your device. Using a strong password or pin code is much more secure.
Logout of All Accounts On Your Devices
Before going through a border crossing sign out of all accounts on your devices. This includes your email, social media, and any financial sites you are logged into. If your device is seized or the border agents force you to unlock your device they will potentially have access to all the services you were logged into.
Be Polite and Respectful
Always be polite and respectful to border agents and other officials. Follow their instructions to the best of your ability and never lie to them.
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