As you begin packing for your travels abroad, remember to prepare your electronics. In some countries, digital snooping is commonplace, leaving your sensitive information vulnerable to theft. These tips will help ensure your data and devices are protected.
Before you go
- Consider renting a laptop from DoIT rather than bringing your own. Phones are also available on a rental basis.
- If you need to bring your own, prepare your device for travel by backing up your sensitive data and removing all information not needed on your trip, updating security protections, and familiarizing yourself with local laws and security.
- Install software that can help you get your computer back if it is stolen or can at least prevent the thief from stealing your data.
During your stay
- Limit transfer of sensitive information (in-person, email or fax)
- Do not connect foreign storage devices (e.g., USB, CDs) to your device
- Because public Wi-Fi hotspots are not safe connections, use eduroam and UW-Madison’s WiscVPN to ensure your Internet connection is encrypted and secure. Disable Bluetooth and Wi-FI connections when not in use.
- Keep your devices in your physical possession.
Upon your return
- Return your rental devices to DoIT. If you took your personal computer, DoIT staff can analyze it for malware and unauthorized access.
Read the Academic Professional’s Guide to Safe Computing When Traveling Abroad for details.