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What is the best way to prepare your laptop and smartphone for travel?

I envision having an encrypted back up stored at home; then factory resetting the smartphones/laptops for travel and installing only the bare necessities. If any particular toolkit/app is needed beyond the border, then FedEx it to your destination ahead of time on encrypted storage.

What are best practices for Apple devices for travel? Say a laptop and a phone.

I ask this both ways: (1) personal security, for e.g. my Apple pay or banking details should not be at risk beyond the US, (2) CBP now has rights to electronic device seizure and owners are legally obligated to provide passwords for access which I find too invasive.

I wanted to ask this on Travel.SE but I figured it would be voted off topic. I think this is the best site, because physical access to my devices without my approval constitutes both data as well as account security concerns.

Note: This is not just about laptop or smartphone being stolen, in which case just encrypting the devices would be sufficient, this is also about governments/entities (including our own) demanding invasive access to your personal devices. Best practice would be to have a dedicated travel laptop and phone, but barring that, what is the best option?

  • It's a good question, but this is approaching "opinion based." Frankly, I've never heard of a "security best practice" beyond what individual organizations provide for their employees. – SomeGuy Mar 8 at 17:06
  • Maybe there should be one, say ... for private citizens or grass roots activists? People without access to an IT infrastructure? Fact based opinions pertaining to the question at hand should be okay when there is no one right answer. – ITA Mar 8 at 21:44

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