You and Your Devices at the United States Border

School’s out, fiscal year is closing, travel season is upon us. Whether we are traveling for business or pleasure, we are traveling with devices. I know when my family travels, there are multiple smartphones, a couple of tablets, and a laptop or two traveling with us. After all, one must stay connected in this hyperconnected world we share.

Traveling across borders – be it by land, sea, or air – brings with it special circumstances that apply to all of us as we seek to exit one country and enter another. In the United States, the “border zone” allows the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to conduct a search of one’s belongings when you are entering or leaving, within certain guidelines.

According to USA Today, CBP announced that they had “conducted 30,200 border searches of electronic devices during the year (2017) that ended Sept. 30, 2017.” Of those, 29,200 searches involved travelers from other countries.

More than 397 million travelers arrived in the United States in 2017, according to the USA Today article.

The percentage of travelers subjected to having their electronic devices searched is relatively low, in the grand scheme of things. But if you’re the one who is handing your smartphone over to the customs officer, it’s your primary concern.

Traveling for business with your employer’s devices? Check in with your Travel Security Program administrator and determine the company policy for allowing CBP or any government’s customs/immigration officers access to the company device prior to traveling. The policy may be to surrender the device, without sharing the credentials to unlock the device and the company’s legal team will follow-up with additional details to get you through the process.

Depending upon the country, this may derail the entire purpose of the travel, so one will want to (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Cylance Blog authored by Christopher Burgess. Read the original post at:

Christopher Burgess

Christopher Burgess

Christopher Burgess (@burgessct) is a writer, speaker and commentator on security issues. He is a former Senior Security Advisor to Cisco and served 30+ years within the CIA which awarded him the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal upon his retirement. Christopher co-authored the book, “Secrets Stolen, Fortunes Lost, Preventing Intellectual Property Theft and Economic Espionage in the 21st Century”. He also founded the non-profit: Senior Online Safety.

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