If you plan to visit the USA the next time, you should create your own fake social media account right now. Fill it with some bogus posts, connect with some random people and like some pages. But take care that everything is clear, non-violent, US friendly and polite.
Want to ask why?
The Trump administration may move to require foreign visitors to give over the passwords to their social media accounts. To protect your privacy even in case you are forced to give over your password, you need a credible fake profile at Facebook, LinkedIn or something similar. You then can give over your password without any worries. After your travel you can decide if you want to keep this account (useful if you frequently travel to the USA) or if you want to delete it (if you don't plan to visit the USA the next years).
You should expect that they use the passwords to login, to get access to your data and to use this data. You should expect that they verify the credentials and profiles the next time you visit the USA. You should also expect that they check your contacts, your likes, your timeline to find out your religion, your political and sexual orientation, your friends, your contacts, what you like and what you don't like etc. They are greedy for data. They most likely will use your photos and they may analyze the locations you visited.
At the end of the day you are fully transparent to them. And no one knows what this means for you.
You do not have any social media profile?
Hurry up to create one! Having no social media profile is suspicious. They may think you want to hide something and they may interrogate you to find out if you tell them the truth or not. Remember that you are in no mans land at this time and that they may arrest you or force you back home.
Having a credible social media profile may become essential for USA travellers. And a credible social media profile should exist at least for a few months and it also should show some frequent activity. There is no need to connect with real friends or to like what you really like - just think what these people would like and add some "spice" to avoid too much perfectionism. Maintain your fake profile. Announce your trip to the USA some days or weeks before you start. Do anything to keep it credible.
And - of course - think about camouflaging your real profile. There's no need for an up-to-date profile photo, for public posts or real names. It's good enough if your contacts know who you are - no need that the US government knows it.
No credible social media profile without mail address and phone number. You should create a bogus mail address at a free provider. Google mail is very good, because these guys may get easier access than to foreign providers. Do never use this mail account for personal stuff, but use it to register for some newsletters and try to get spammed - just mark mails read from time to time to simulate activity. The next essential thing is to have a phone number linked to your fake profile. Just get one of those prepaid SIM cards and charge it once with e.g. 10 EUR. Verify the phone and ensure that you have exactly this phone with you on your USA travels. Use it or just use SIP phones at public places or try to buy a SIM card there as long as you stay there. Protect your real phone and phone number at any price! And do never use your personal all-day smartphone - buy a cheap Android phone for some bucks (maybe a used one to let it look more credible) and use it from time to time to order pizza or call a hotline. Why? Because they may force you to unlock the phone and they may copy data or install "bonus features". So be prepared and do not have any valuable data or personal stuff except some stupid selfies on it.
Think that's strange? Think i need a aluminium hat?
Well, you may never have thought about these things and you may think that this is too much. But keep in mind that the USA in general and the Trump administration in special see foreign people as suspicious and - depending on their nationality, religion, political orientation - as a potential danger to their own country. They are greedy for data. They want to know everything about all people. And they use data to find anomalies, suspicious activity and whatever they define as interesting. Do not think you have nothing to hide! You are not the person who defines that. You don't know what they are looking for and you don't know what exactly they do with your data.
They are fanatic and they are traumatized. And since a few days they are also racist and hostile to foreigners. To ensure 'm not misunderstood. I do not mean all americans if i use the word "they". I especially mean the US government, the Homeland Security, the secret services and a core of reactionary idiots. The special problem i have with the USA is the aggressivity, arrogance and disproportionate they show in most they do. And with the new plans and demands they went one step to far.
At the end of the day it is your choice. But think twice. You cannot see the future. You don't know what they do with the data they collect and you don't who has access to the data. You may not know where you want to live in 2, 5 or 10 years or where you find a new job. Maybe you want to start a political carreer or you are organizing resistance against further assaults. It is - at least theoretically - possible that the data they have collected over the years will then be used to your disadvantage. You never know. And if you think that the Trump administration is terrible, you may be surprised that it might be possible that it will be worse in a few years.
Investing a little time into a credible fake social profile does not seem too require too much effort compared to the unknown risks of giving your passwords to these people.
- Create a fake identity at Facebook at least 3 months before your travel
- Create a fake mail account at Gmail, Yahoo etc. which is associated to the fake identity
- Purchase a prepaid sim card and a cheap (probably used) Android smartphone
- Connect with random people, like random pages but ensure that they are not anti-american or pro-syrian, pro-islam etc.
- Like random pages
- Use a recent selfie as profile foto and create some random photos from food, people and yourself
- order your next pizza or taxi via your fake form and ensure that at least 30 days before your travel some calls and data were created
- Ensure you have some random fake fotos on your smartphone and the fake mail address configured. Make some selfies.
- Register your fake mail address with at least 15 webpages, blogs etc. to receive mails. And mark them as read from time to time.
- If they ask you for your password, do not give it immediatley. Ask for the reason and show that you are concerned. Make it credible.
- Do not delete your fake profiles after your travel if you plan to visit again within the next years
- Hide your real profile (use a random profile picture, use a fake @name and do not use your real name. Ensure that your posts, friends, photos etc. are not public (check privacy settings of your profile)
Ensure that no real friends connect with your fake profile. Just to protect them!