Security Awareness Campaign March 2018:
Protect Your Data and Devices While Traveling with Tech
Spring break is just a few weeks away. For those traveling, here are a few cyber security travel tips:
Due to enhanced security measures in most countries, travelers with tech should be prepared for possible disruptions or additional wait times during the screening process. Here are some steps you can take to help secure your devices and your privacy.
Good to know:
- While traveling within the United States, TSA agents at the gate are not allowed to confiscate your digital devices or demand your passwords.
- Different rules apply to U.S. border patrol agents and agents in other countries. Federal border patrol agents have broad authority to search everyone entering the U.S. This includes looking through any electronic devices you have with you while you are traveling. They can seize your devices and make a copy for experts to examine offsite.
Protect your tech and data when traveling:
- Travel only with the devices you need. Authorities or criminals can't search what you don't have.
- Most travelers will likely decide that inconvenience overrides risk and travel with electronic devices anyway. If this is the case, travelers should focus on protecting the information that they take with them.
- Before you arrive at a border, travelers should power off their devices. This is when the encryption services are at their strongest and will help resist a variety of high-tech attacks that may attempt to break your encryption.
- Make sure to log out of browsers and apps that give you access to online content, and remove any saved login credentials (turn off cookies and autofill).
Get your device travel ready:
- Set up multi factor authentication for your accounts whenever possible for an additional layer of security.
- Update any software, including antivirus protection, to make sure you are running the most secure version available.
- Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to avoid automatic connections.
- Turn on "Find My [Device Name]" tracking and/or remote wiping options in case it is lost or stolen.
- Charge your devices before you go.
- Stay informed of TSA regulations and be sure to check with the State Department's website for any travel alerts or warnings concerning the specific countries you plan to visit, including any tech restrictions.
- Don't overlook low-tech solutions:
- Physically lock your devices and keep them on you whenever possible, or use a hotel safe.
- Label all devices in case they get left behind!
These guidelines are not foolproof, but security experts say every additional measure taken can help reduce the chances of cyber theft.