How to Stay Safe (IT-wise) When Traveling

In addition to the information on "Staying Safe on a Public Wi-FI Network", these additional steps can help protect your devices and data when travelling.

Basic tips:

  • Limit the number of devices you travel with to just those really needed
  • Make sure all your devices are encrypted (unless travelling to a country where that is prohibited)
  • Make use of the cloud (e.g., UT Box) to store your files off of your devices
  • Make sure you have recorded information about your devices like: make, model, serial number, etc.
  • Enable tracking technology like LoJack, Undercover, Find my iPhone, etc.
  • Make sure you back up your device before you travel
  • If staying at hotels, always use a hotel's "Do Not Disturb" sign when possible (to help prevent hotel-staff thefts)
  • Make sure all your devices are password protected (require a login or passcode to use)
  • Enable screen savers and require a password on them whenever possible
  • Turn your devices off, rather than using sleep/hibernate/suspend, when not in use
  • Don't post your every move on Facebook or Twitter in real time – post them later
  • Avoid using public computers for anything requiring a password (or containing other sensitive information)
  • Consider using a room safe or bringing a security cable to lock your laptop or other devices.
  • When not needed, disable communications on your devices such as wireless, bluetooth, etc.  (In particular, bluetooth protocols for pairing devices or sharing files)

Advanced tips:

  • "Sanitize" your device before you travel by removing anything (data) that won't be needed on the trip
  • If you notice lower than normal connection speeds on your cell phone, suspect a rogue tower playing a man-in-the-middle attack
  • Consider having additional "travel" laptops or phones separate from your daily devices
  • Enable "remote wipe" capabilities to protect the data on your devices should they be lost or stolen

Written by Eric Rostetter, Senior System Administrator
Questions or comments? The best and easiest way to contact us is via the CNS Help Desk form.

See also: Security