Traveling with phones, tablets or
laptops can mean increased risks to your privacy and data.
The use of personal devices to access University data, software or enterprise applications when traveling internationally is strongly discouraged. This includes accessing University email using a personal smartphone or tablet. While traveling internationally, University data should only be accessed via University-approved and -owned devices.
Before You Go
- Register your trip with the Office of Global Affairs at https://international.wvu.edu/travel/registration.
- Consult with your department or college IT support staff to discuss what data you plan to generate and/or collect while traveling abroad. ITS recommends using devices specifically reserved for international travel. Your college or department may have loaner devices.
- Update any software, including anti-virus protection, to make sure you are running the most secure version available. The University provides free Sophos anti-virus software at https://freeav.wvu.edu.
- Turn on “Find my Device” tracking and/or remote wiping options in case your device is lost or stolen.
- Clear your device of any content that may be considered illegal or questionable in other countries, and verify whether your destination country has restrictions on encryption and/or encrypted digital content. Encrypt your device to the highest standards allowed.
- Back up the data on your device so that it’s recoverable in case of loss, theft or malware corruption.
Protecting Devices During Travel
- Always maintain control of your device(s). This means keeping them with you at all times or securing them in a locked environment, like a hotel safe.
- Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to avoid automatic connections, and assume that your data is being monitored on any wireless network you use.
- Avoid connecting to public USB charging stations.
- Pay attention to people nearby who may be monitoring your activities.
- Only connect to secure HTTPS sites.
After Your Trip
- Change passwords for all the services/systems you accessed while abroad.
- Perform a full virus and malware scan on your device.
- Take all University-owned devices to your department or college IT support staff for inspection before connecting them to the University network.
Travel to Embargoed Countries
Devices may not be taken to a destination that is identified as an embargoed country or region by the U.S. government. Embargoed countries include Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Syria and Sudan. Certain other countries require a license to import technology. For more information on these restrictions, contact the Export Control Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (304) 293-8614.
Travel to the European Union
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) creates stricter penalties for member nations that fail to secure personal data. This regulation requires greater accountability for storing, processing and transferring data, including personally identifiable information such as name, email address or financial information. WVU strongly recommends that anyone traveling to the EU follow the guidelines in this document to help keep your personally identifiable information protected.