The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a new video on Wednesday with tips on how to keep your computers safe when travelling overseas.
The video is a little bit corny, but what did you expect from a government video? The staged video follows a fictitious traveller journeying into an English-speaking country where he finds himself under surveillance.
“Many of the same measures intelligence officials take to mitigate threats from foreign spies can benefit anyone, not just security clearance holders,” the ODNI wrote on Facebook.
But many of the security tips and “simple steps” provided by ODNI are, frankly, worrying.
Security is serious business, but advice like “assume that when you travel, you have no privacy, and all your communication might be watched” is pretty hardcore if you’re not NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden or Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Here’s how the ODNI recommends you protect your personal information when you’re overseas:
- Minimise the number of electronic devices you bring with you
- Consider buying a disposable phone when you arrive, and set up a throwaway email account for travelling
- Don’t post upcoming travel plans on Facebook or social media — or, if you must, change your privacy settings so your itinerary isn’t public
- Don’t open work email attachments
- Even if you don’t have any classified information, you still might have access to proprietary information from your company.
- You could be targeted by foreign intelligence services or business competitors, even in countries friendly to the US
- Be cautious if a stranger asks a lot of questions about what you do or who you know
- Assume that when you’re travelling, you have no privacy, and all your communication might be watched, even if you’re in your hotel room
- Don’t trust hotel room safes