Warning: This tech tip is a complex one, and is to be used with caution. However, the benefits may outweigh the complex steps listed below.


If you are traveling abroad, or simply flying within the United States, two unfortunate things may occur:

  • Your phone may be confiscated or “accessed” by customs or TSA officials, resulting in unwanted access to your personal data, photos, or other sensitive information stored on your phone.
  • Your phone may be stolen, and others may get access to your personal data, photos, or other sensitive information.


To prevent unwanted eyes viewing your data, consider this protective measure:

Step 1 – If you have an Android phone, perform a backup to your Google account. If you have an iPhone, perform a backup to your iCloud account.

Step 2 – Perform a factory reset on your phone, essentially bringing it back to its original default settings.

Step 3 – Only install apps you must have for your trip.


When you return home, back up your photos or other data to your current solutions. Perform another factory reset on your phone, and restore from the backup you made before your trip.


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Also published on Medium.