Information Security for International Travel

As you prepare to travel internationally, the guidelines on this page will help to ensure that your devices and data are protected.

Items listed as required must be completed in order to provide successful access to UA accounts, data and applications while you are traveling. Items listed as recommended will help to provide extra security to your accounts and data while traveling.

IMPORTANT: Faculty, staff, and GAs must contact the IT Service Desk at 330-972-6888 several weeks in advance of your trip to obtain a loaner laptop for travel.

Before Your Trip


  • We strongly recommend that you download and install the Microsoft Authenticator mobile app and register it with your UA account. The Authenticator appprovides push notifications, as well as time-based veriication codes when cellular and WiFi networks are unavailable.
  • Alternatively, faculty, staff, and GAs may request temporary hardware tokens that can be signed out from the Office of Information Security.


  • Save all data to OneDrive or SharePoint before you leave.
  • Do not save any data to your local computer.
  • Leave all unnecessary devices, such as thumb drives, CDs/DVDs, tablets, etc. at home.
  • Never save sensitive information (i.e. SSNs, credit card numbers, passport numbers, etc.) on your laptop or other devices.
  • Make sure your operating system is fully patched.
  • Verify that your antivirus software is up to date.

During Your Trip


  • The Microsoft Authenticator mobile app provides Time Based Codes when cellular and WiFi networks are unavailable.
  • Or use the temporary hardware token from the Office of Information Security if you received one.

Only use secure internet connections. Cellular carriers' networks are the best choice in terms of security.

Use UA's VPN or VDI environment to access university resoures

  • Don't use free wireless connections.
  • Don't use public computers to access or enter sensitive data.
  • Expect that any computer network you use while traveling may be insecure. This includes networks you may use while staying with friends and family, attending a conference/other business or visiting cyber-cafes, libraries or hotels.
  • Turn off wireless and bluetooth on your devices while you are not using them.
  • Don't download/install software updates on hotel internet connections or public Wifi. For more information on this topic, review this FBI advisory.
  • Understand that any government can log your activity or copy data from your computer without your knowledge or consent.

If your device is lost or stolen, contact Security immediately to report the incident and promptly change your password(s). It is also important to report the incident to the UAPD and to request a copy of the report.

  • Keep your devices with you at all times or locked in your hotel safe.
  • Don't travel with obvious laptop bags.


When you open your browser, switch to a new private browsing tab/window.

These can be used to transfer malware to your device or retrieve data from it. The safest option is to find an outlet and use your own charger.

Do not use USB storage devices or any other kind of removable media that you receive or find while on your trip. These devices can be used to gain access toyour system.

If you will not be using your device for an extended period of time, power it off.

After Your Trip

Hackers are more interested in the sensitive data you have access to at the university than the data you carried with you on your trip. Please review the steps below to prevent any breaches in security due to your device being compromised.


  • Return the loaner laptop to ITS.
  • Return the temporary hardware MFA token to Security, if applicable.


  • Change your UA password.
  • Change the passwords for all accounts you accessed while traveling.

Install an antivirus solution and run a full system scan on any personal devices you used while traveling. Remove any malware identified.

Contact IT Security      Contact IT Service Desk