Nov 302009
 November 30, 2009  Posted by  Featured News

There are a lot of organizations offering tips on how to protect yourself from becoming the victim of identity theft or a scam during the holiday season. David Canton offers some tips for those traveling across borders who are taking their laptops or electronic devices. The tips are based on advice published by the Canadian Bar Association, where you can find additional tips as well:

  • Travel with a “bare” computer that contains only the most essential information. Ensure that all work with data is done via a secure virtual private network (VPN). Consider using SaaS (software as a service) programs based on the Internet, rather than your computer’s hard drive.
  • Turn off your computer early: At least five minutes before you get to U.S. Customs, make sure your computer is turned off so unencrypted information in your computer’s RAM has adequate time to void itself.
  • Back up your data: Self-explanatory.
  • Store data on small devices: Smaller devices can be carried more inconspicuously.
  • Protect your phone and PDA: Phones now carry a considerable amount of information and needed to be kept as “clean” as possible in case they’re confiscated.
  • ‘Clean’ your laptop once it’s returned: This will ensure that no programs or spyware have been installed on your computer.

The better approach is to leave all information on a Canadian server and access it remotely once in the U.S.


In summary, the prudent approach for taking a computer into the U.S. is to ensure it contains no confidential, sensitive or privileged information.

Read more on Canoe.

Photo credit: AP/Mike Derer

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