Information Security Tips for Travel!

Our mobile devices are rich with our personal information – contacts, photos, videos, location data, and other sensitive information. The following are tips and recommendations to safeguard your devices and information when you’re “on the go”!

Before traveling:

  • Consider using temporary devices such as a prepaid cell phone. If traveling on business, consider using a clean inexpensive laptop  or a ”loaner” laptop. If you opt to take your personal devices with you, remove confidential, restricted and protected data.
  • Make sure that your mobile phone has a device finder/manager, and that it has remote wipe capabilities and you know how to perform a remote wipe.
  • Ensure that all devices with and operating system and applications are fully updated and patched prior to your departure.
  • Make copies of travel documents and credit cards you plan to use. Leave copies with a family member or friend in case the items get lost or stolen.
  • Wait until you’re home to post details about your trip on social media. Announcements made beforehand or while traveling can make you a target for theft.

While traveling:

  • Access NYU-NET via VPN whenever possible for a secure encrypted connection. For more information about VPN, including locations in which it is offered, click here.  Please note that VPN usage is prohibited in Sudan, Syria and North Korea, absent authorization from the U.S. Government.
  • Protect all devices and identity documents. If possible, keep your devices with you at all times.  Don’t assume they’ll be protected in a hotel safe or in your hotel room.
  • Only use an ATM if you have no other option. Instead, work with a teller during bank operating hours. If you must use an ATM, check for skimming devices, and attempt to securely enter your PIN, by covering or shielding the keypad as you type.
  • Protect your devices with strong passwords/passcodes or touch id.  For password tips and recommendations, please click here.
  • Disable Wi-Fi and bluetooth when not in use to prevent auto-connection to open networks or other devices.
  • Be wary of OTA (“over-the-air”) updating of mobile devices, as updates may come with malware.
  • Be wary of computers in public areas, such as hotels, conference centers and cyber cafes. If you use such a device, do not log into email or other sensitive accounts.  Public devices may be loaded with keystroke loggers and other malware.
  • Be alert to scams targeting hotel guests. If you should receive a call about a problem with your credit card, do not provide your card number to the caller over the phone. Instead, visit the hotel front desk.

When you return from travel:

  • Change any passwords that you may have used abroad.
  • Run full antivirus scan on your devices.
  • Review your credit card statements to confirm there are no discrepancies.
  • If you downloaded any apps specifically for your trip, remove them.