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Securing Electronic Devices

Traveling with digital devices is often necessary in order to stay connected while you are away from the office or home.  Here are several tips to keep you secure while you're traveling.


  • If a device, credit card, or document isn’t absolutely required for your trip, leave it at home.
    • This is especially true for sensitive intellectual property that might have research or commercial value.
    • Configure your devices for maximum security while traveling.
    • Back up any data on devices that will be traveling with you.
    • Set secure passwords, codes, or screen locks for all devices so information can’t easily be accessed if the device is lost or stolen.
    • Use multi-factor authentication where possible.
    • If presenting or sharing research, be cognizant of different laws and social norms regarding intellectual property.  Members of your audience may be subject to different legal and professional standards regarding reproduction of information or materials.

During Travel

  • Keep portable equipment (cellphones, laptops, flash drives, etc.) in your possession at all times.  If this is not possible, leave these items in a safe or a locked box/bag when unattended.
  • Assume that any networks or devices other than your own are insecure.  If you must connect to a device or network shared by other unknown guests, do not enter sensitive information (credit cards, bank accounts, passwords, etc.), and do not download updates or new applications.
  • Be careful about the amount of information you are sharing on social media.  You may be providing public answers to your security questions or public information about your absence from home.  Lock down your privacy settings and be mindful of who has access to what information.

Back on Campus

  • Change the passwords and PIN numbers on any accounts you accessed while traveling.  Ensure that you are not reusing the passwords you created for devices and accounts prior to travel.