This intangible form of intellectual property will preserve its value and competitive advantage so long as it remains undisclosed and proper safety measures are implemented, especially with the data-driven environment now we live in.
Trade secrets should not only be inaccessible by anyone in a company but also competition limits need to be agreed. Confidentiality and non-compete agreements are required for such purposes and drafted bearing in mind the limits imposed by law, both federal and state. For instance, some states require that confidentiality agreements can be signed only by employees that earn a minimum wage amount while other states require that they can be applicable only to key employees.
Access to trade secrets may also be compromised by warrantless searches conducted by law enforcement officers in public places such as airports or when crossing the US border. These public spaces do not have the usual expectation of privacy and warrantless searches can be justified. Although uncomfortable, it may be best to simply delete the information from your devices when moving across borders and regain access remotely or seek someone to forward the information back to your device.