It is becoming increasingly common for border guards to ask travelers to hand over smartphones. This is bothersome for a number of reasons.
One reason is that a lot of employees store company data on personal devices - part of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement. The other is that these investigations can be entirely intrusive.
A new app called 1Password might provide a solution. The app now comes with a travel mode that effectively wipes away all passwords, credit card information, and other data while you travel. Once travel is completed, you’ll get your data back. Sound good? Here’s how it all works.
1Password Travel Mode
1Password is essentially a password keeper - like LastPass. So it’s clear why the company would want to provide users with an extra layer of security when using the app - lots of sensitive and personal data can be stored on the 1Password app. With the creation of the app’s Travel Mode, 1Password has managed to thwart an issue that many users were concerned about.
If you turn on travel mode, you won’t have to worry about border guards accessing any data stored in 1Password. The app goes into a sort of stealth mode when travel mode is activated. Users can mark certain bundles of passwords ‘safe for travel,’ but those that aren’t marked will be temporarily disconnected from any devices they were syncing with.
An Attractive Idea
When passwords are temporarily disabled, nobody can access that information, including third-parties. Once travel mode is turned off, all the information that was hidden will be revealed and synced again. Companies that have 1Password set up with teams will also be able to control team accounts, which means that employees can safely travel.
The 1Password travel mode is available to subscribers, but not to those people that paid for the app. While kind of disappointing, this makes sense from a business perspective. Subscribers are paying for a monthly subscription to use the app while users that bought just the app have only paid a one-time fee.
From my perspective, the 1Password travel mode is the best possible option for companies that know employees store data on personal or company devices. Through controlling travel mode on all company devices, data that needs to be kept private can be kept private. I would not be surprised to see LastPass, and other competitors, create a similar feature.
If you do have a corporate 1Password account, you can access the travel feature now. If you just have the app, you’ll have to purchase the subscription to access this new feature (cloud-based). If you travel a lot and have data stored in your 1Password app, this might be a feature work subscribing for.
If you just use the app casually, it might not be worth the $40 per year fee. Either way, this is innovation in the password storage app realm, and it makes sense both from a user and company perspective. Take a look at the 1Password site for more information.