Know anybody trying to move to America? Tell them to watch their Facebook feed.
On May 23, the Office of Management and Budget approved a new questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants asking for five year’s worth of social media information.
Yes, Big Brother has his eye on your Facebook page and Twitter feed. He’s not impressed by the number of likes or deft use of emojis but he may be concerned about who you’re sharing cute kitten videos with.
People trying to enter the land of Tom Cruise and Coca-Cola will feel the social media scrutiny most. Trump’s travel ban might have been blocked twice but loopholes are helping to make extreme vetting a reality.
So the government might say, if you have nothing to hide, why not let a border guard gawk at your private personal information on Facebook at security checkpoints? Come on, buddy. Sacrifice some dignity for the sake of safety.
What can you do if you want to keep their personal information on your personal social media page private when entering the United States? Sure, you can do a scorched earth tactic with your social media accounts and wipe them completely clean. But now you might not have to.
A new app helps you keep your personal info protected from border guards. 1Password, a password-managing service, has been around for a few years but recently introduced a feature called ‘Travel Mode’ – which is included in the regular 1Password yearly subscription of $35.88.
The Travel Mode feature protects your data from unwarranted searches. The 1Password app puts all your personal social media sites into a singular vault – and then mark that vault: “safe to travel” – which will then hide these accounts from view. There are no traces left for anyone to find – even if you’re made to open up the 1Password app at a security checkpoint; there’s no way for them to tell that Travel Mode is even enabled.
Basecamp founder and famed Ruby on Rails developer David Heinemeier Hansson praised the app, saying it had the potential to preserve privacy and dignity during international travel.
“We need better tools to help protect ourselves against unwarranted searches and the leakage of business and personal secrets,” Hansson said in a press statement. “1Password is taking a great step in that direction with their new Travel Mode. Bravo.”
Obviously, no app can make travel perfect. A border agent could still be a complete prick and demand to see all of your online accounts, causing you to be delayed or even making you miss your flight.
Still, 1Password is a step in the right direction of keeping your private information on your social media sites strictly to yourself.