A cool trick to keep your laptop safe from customs

Bruce Schneier doesn’t like people snooping in his stuff and neither should you. He posted a clever solution to the problem of encrypting your laptop so it cannot be unlocked if you are under duress. While it is not foolproof, it prevents anyone – customs officials included – from scouring your laptop on landing. Why? Because you won’t know your own password.

The trick assumes you have your hard drive encrypted with BitLocker or another multi-login solution. You will create one login for yourself and another completely random login that you won’t be able to remember even under the threat of torture. We’re talking “sdfsdfsdfuirweuvmsbvbxcvbyoi723472374kwdefmsdf” and not “porkloin.” You then send this password – without seeing it – to a spouse or business partner who will be prepared to give it to you when you get out of customs.

When you work on the laptop on the plane, you login with your normal password. Then you delete that personal account, leaving only the random one. This means your laptop is completely secure while you’re in customs. When you pop out you call your trusted person and they give you the key. Easy peasy.