It is a common act to take measures to protect your data and confidential information from the wrong hands like hackers, cyber criminals and unknown sources. You install many apps and software to keep your gadgets safe; your details stored in them. However, what do you do if legal authorities all allowed to frisk you and endanger your right to privacy?
It is a known fact that the customs officers of most countries do have the permission to do this. Border searching is a procedure according to a country’s (any country) criminal law, in which the customs officials have the permission (even without a warrant) to search travelers and their belongings to maintain safety and security of the country. If under suspicion, they can avoid any illegal or unauthorized entry of people ort things across the border. This is done by most nations and most people across the world are requested to abide by these laws.
Now, this need not mean that you have to yield your personal information to random officials. In most places, it is your right to remain silent when you are asked to reveal your passwords or security PIN. Even if you do not, your devices can be detained right there at the border and may or may not be turned back to you. These devices can be taken into custody for forensic investigation, and your data can still be retrieved from them.
Here is where you can take up some smartness lessons and pass them on to your friends as well. The following are some of the precautions that you can use to protect your privacy without having to explain yourself to anyone.
How can I safeguard my data from border searches?
- Get an alternative device
If you are travelling out far, it is wise to leave behind your costly and original gadgets that has all your confidential matter; be it work stuff or personal photos or files. Instead, you can carry a less used and cheaper device that holds only what you need for the trip or journey. Get hold of a few less expensive phones and laptops that are compatible with multiple, global SIM cards and has basic features that you can survive with. Therefore, even if your devices are confiscated or probed, there is not much to worry about.
- Set complicated and lengthy passwords
Most software advice you to set passwords that are strong and that you can memorize easily to benefit you. However, here are some password management apps that help you to create very “strong” (pun intended) and lengthy passwords. These passwords can be stored under a master password that can be stored on a cloud service account that can be accessed later, upon reaching your destination.
- Two-step verification
When the two-step verification option is enabled and you type in your password, you will automatically receive an OTP (One Time Password) to your primary device through a text message. Make sure that your primary device is left behind in safety so that the customs officials cannot access to it. When you type in this OTP, which you can retrieve from a trusted friend who has access to your primary device, you can access to your account or device.
- Disable you fingerprint settings
As already mentioned, you have the right to stay silent when you are asked to reveal your passwords. You are entitled to not share it with anyone. Nevertheless, it is possible that you can be forced to use your fingerprint password against your will. For such situations, it is best to disable your fingerprint sensor on your devices before you take leave to another place.
- Encrypting devices should help
Encrypt your devices and leave behind the key with a trusted friend. Encrypting your device will scatter your data that can be retrieved only with the correct key. Some tools assist you in encrypting your data. This method is usually very safe as nobody can decipher the data without the appropriate key, which means that the officials cannot disclose your private data.
- Cloud back-up
A very good option is to save a copy of all your data from your devices onto a cloud service that can be accessed later from anywhere and at any time. Once a copy of your data is stored on the cloud, you can delete the copy on your device. Now you need not be worried about your data when you are forced to hand over or reveal your private information.
A very simple way to keep your data safe is to store a copy of your data or the password that secure your data, elsewhere for backup purposes. In addition, it is recommended that you use some free tools that help you in protecting your data. Keep more than one cloud to have a backup cloud, in case one cloud crashes. These are some of the method that you can use to protect your data from legal (or illegal) sources.