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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based full disk encryption and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based full disk encryption and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

Encryption and Traveling: EFF's Tips Regarding Data Security And Cross-Border Travel

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published a timely article for the holidays: "Defending Privacy at the U.S. Border: A Guide for Travelers Carrying Digital Devices".  In it, you'll find a number of recommendations and explanations regarding travel from and to the US, including:

  • Why and how the US government searches devices
  • What issues to consider when protecting data
  • Why backups are important

And other issues.  Among the tips: the use of encryption software to protect sensitive data.

Encryption: Useful Even If Cooperating with Border Agents

EFF starts off the section on encryption by noting that disk encryption software protects your data if your computer is lost or stolen, so "it's a useful precaution even for people who plan to cooperate completely with border agents' requests for assistance in inspecting devices."  Personally, I'd say it's an odd thing to point out since encryption software was not developed as a way to stymie border agents....  Its purpose, after all, is securing data and not securing data against border agents.

Anyhow, the section quickly breaks into a number of issues to consider when using encryption.

  • Account passwords vs. full-disk encryption.  How they differ.  How password-protection can be bypassed.
  • Choosing disk encryption over file encryption. Why whole disk encryption is preferable over protecting individual files.
  • How to choose a secure password.  Or, rather, passphrase.  EFF notes that built a device to crack passwords in 1999.  It could try 2^56 possibilities in under three days.  This means passwords of nine-letters or less could be compromised in less than a week.

The contents of encryption section are not too different from the issues and observations found on this blog.  They are, however, consolidated in one nice article.

The entire article is a very good read -- not just the section on encryption -- and the list of recommendations and tips, while some might consider them commonsense, are a timely and good reminder of what to do (and not to do) if you'll be traveling during the holidays.


Related Articles and Sites:
https://www.eff.org/wp/defending-privacy-us-border-guide-travelers-carrying-digital-devices

 
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About sang_lee

Sang Lee is a Senior Account Manager and Security Analyst with AlertBoot, Inc., the leading provider of managed endpoint security services, based in Las Vegas, NV. Mr. Lee helps with the deployment and ongoing support of the AlertBoot disk encryption managed service. Prior to working at AlertBoot, Mr. Lee served in the South Korean Navy. He holds both a B.S. and an M.S. from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.