AgileBits has introduced Travel Mode for 1Password, a way to keep your passwords safe while traveling abroad.
1Password, a password manager app for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android, stores and organizes passwords in ‘vaults.’ When Travel Mode is activated, every vault is removed from your devices, except for the ones marked ‘safe for travel’. The information isn’t hidden, it’s actually removed.
After you arrive safely at your destination or back home, you can turn off Travel Mode, and the vaults are downloaded back onto your devices.
However, Travel Mode is not available for users who’ve bought perpetual licenses, which doesn’t include sync. It only works for users who are on the 1Password subscription plan, which syncs accounts using 1Password’s own services.
The unfortunate reason why something like Travel Mode is necessary is that border guards are increasingly demanding that travelers hand over their passwords for security checks.
If your device only contains your personal info, you face a loss of privacy, but if it contains sensitive work or government data, you face losing much more — like this NASA engineer who was forced to unlock his phone at Houston’s airport. And if your device leaves your sight for a few moments, there’s a chance that its contents may have been copied over.
On the other hand, if you don’t surrender your passwords, you risk being deported or detained. It’s not a pleasant state of affairs, and there’s already debate whether or not it should even be allowed.
With 1Password’s new Travel Mode, you can at least contain the damage done if you do surrender your passwords. Only select accounts in the ‘safe for travel’ vault risk being compromised, and because you’re not actually hiding information, you’re not breaking the law by using it.