Ever since that certain event close to a decade ago, North America and the world sacrificed the majority of our basic freedoms that we’ve always enjoyed, as we lost some of our liberties that we once took for granted, in exchange for a lock down in airline security. This to keep the population safe and secure from any potential future mishaps.
There has been recent outcry’s by certain groups by going as far as filing legal challenges to the strict security measures that many feel they infringe on our personal freedoms. So it’s routine practice now, especially when attempting to cross International borders on business, to get our laptops or any other technological device to be checked or even confiscated without apparent probable cause.
However, you may still have a few ways on how you can get your data safely across the border intact, or bypass airline terminals and keeping your confidential information safe from prying eyes.
Checking Your Tablet, Netbook, Notebook Or Laptop
If you happen to be traveling by air, most often, you should be able to get your tablet or laptop past the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) check out agents, as well as possibly the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) check out points by packing your laptop along with all of your regular luggage.
Most likely, you won’t be using these devices on the flight itself anyways, unless of course you happen to be flying first class, where there’s enough room to work with your tablet or laptop. Keep in mind however, that the baggage handlers are not usually known to treat baggage very gently. So you’ll need to pack that laptop with extra packaging and cushioning. There are also instances where Customs and Border Protection Agents will on occasion do random inspections by opening and checking your luggage. So there is no guarantee that your portable device and the data won’t be accessed.
If you have personal business data stored on your devices, but obviously nothing that’s incriminating, you can also do a simple encryption on your laptop’s hard drive, or at the very least, just for the sensitive confidential folders and files to prevent it from any casual access or tampering by border agents. If you or your portable device happens to seem particularly suspicious to them, they may attempt to compel you to share that encrypted file with them for a further detailed look. If you get to this point, it’s strictly up to you if you hold your stance strictly on principle alone, or whether just showing the data to the border inspection agents, who are just doing their job and protecting the safety of others and ultimately the country.
Using USB Drives To Store Data
Another option you can use for transporting sensitive data or confidential company information back and forth through the border or airports, is to load everything onto an encrypted USB thumb drive and carrying the private files separately. So although your tablet or laptop may be subject to the safety inspection at the border or airport checkpoints, if you remove and store that private critical business data on to a thumb drive and carry it on-board as a keychain or in your pocket.
Leaving It On The Cloud
Lately the best and probably the safest and secure way of keeping your vitally important critical business data away from the border inspections agents, who may just randomly confiscate or decide to access your laptop computer is to store that data where these border controls cannot come near it, which is on a cloud, as in cloud computing.
You’ll be easily able to take and place any personal, sensitive or confidential business data files and place them in the cloud by using the various services out there such as Microsoft SkyDrive or Google Docs. There are now a huge variety of other Web-based cloud storage options available.
Using cloud computing refers to you being able to place as well as access the data from any Internet connection, wherever you may be in the world, even if your laptop or tablet happens to be confiscated or is lost or stolen. Keeping your data in a cloud service also prevents any inspection agents or any one else from reaching that data.
If you do happen to be traveling internationally, keep in mind that your possessions may and will be seized as well as searched at any time, with or without justification, so make sure that you protect yourself.