How To Protect Your Laptop Under The Ban?

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Whether you want to watch TV, get ahead of work, or distract a young child so that he doesn't shout for 15 hours straight, the new rules on prohibited cabin devices for flights to the United States are problematic. But they can also represent significant security challenges for your hardware and data of your laptop.

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The United States announced a new standard that prohibits cockpit electronic devices that are larger than a smartphone, for some flights to the United States. This measure includes laptops, tablets, and cameras and applies to routes that come from 10 airports in 8 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The government attributed the new security policy to concerns about bombs. Britain also made a similar decision this Tuesday.

Registering the devices in the luggage leaves them vulnerable to damage, loss, and even hacking. Before delivering any electronic device to the airline, consider the risks and take some measures to protect the equipment and your data.

It can break or lose

Even the airlines do not want you to leave your expensive electronic devices in your checked baggage. Once a suitcase is reviewed, it is thrown on conveyor belts, trucks, and airplanes. A lousy blow can cause severe damage.

Many airlines have said explicitly that they would not be responsible if such items are broken or lost. They warn that valuable or fragile items should not be packed in checked baggage. For example, United Airlines indicates not to register “computer hardware/software and electronic components/equipment”.

They can hack him, (Laptop )

As soon as you leave your computer or tablet away from your sight, it is vulnerable to being hacke.

“Every time your computer is out of possession, all bets come into play. Malware and spyware can be install, ”said Rene Kolga, head of the production at ThinAir.

Registered luggage goes through an X-ray machine, but employees of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are entitled to open any luggage and examine its contents. Suitcases that have laptops and other electronic devices are usually inspected directly. Airlines are generally looking for bombs or other dangerous items. So any subject may alter your device without even realizing it.

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Someone can get information from your computer “in seconds” through a malicious USB device, Kolga said.

“Most likely, the device will be treat with a keylogger or other type of implant that will help locate the device (and its owner) at a later stage, allow remote access, or at least make it possible to control the use of the device,” he explained. Erka Koivunen, head of information security at F-Secure.

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Make sure you keep your data safe

The best way to keep your data safe from falling into the wrong hands is not to register a computer.

If you need to carry a device, make sure you at least set it a password or an access fingerprint and activate the removal of remote information in case it is stolen. Also, make a full backup before arriving at the airport. Experts recommend turning off the computer entirely and not just putting it in nap mode.

It is possible to access a device if you only have a simple password lock. A safer option is to remove everything from the computer or tablet before traveling. Koivunen recommends deleting most local data, as well as authentication codes, cookies, and certificates.

Since it is tough to clean all traces of your device information thoroughly, you can consider using a “burner” computer to travel: a cheap machine that does not have sensitive information on it.

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If you need to access your work or personal files in your travel destination, here are a couple of options. You can upload it all to the cloud, but check that there are also no copies save on the hard drive.

“Although saving information in the cloud brings its security concerns, it allows convenient remote access from almost any electronic device, including smartphones that are allow in recent flight safety improvements,” said Joe Levy, chief technology officer. in the security firm Sophos.

If you save data on the device (laptop), you should encrypt it. Most operating systems offer integrated options for full disk encryption.

Now, if you are traveling with a device associated with your work, check your company's security policy. Some department

Now, if you are traveling with a device associated with your work, check your company's security policy. Some technology departments ask that laptop not go in checked baggage.

There could also be the possibility that they provide you with completely clean laptop specifically for travel or that can configure the encryption for you. The devices should be claime before you connect to a work network, said Javvad Malik, a security lawyer at AlienVault.

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