What to do if you plan to travel internationally

International travelers should limit the amount of sensitive information that is stored on or accessible to any mobile device taken on the trip.

Traveling internationally can pose significant risks to information stored on or accessible through the computers, tablets and smartphones that we take with us.  Some of the risk is associated with increased opportunities for the loss or theft of the device due to the increased amount of direct physical handling of the equipment by individuals, and just merely the distraction of traveling. Additionally, our devices are put at risk because they will use networks that may be managed by entities that monitor and capture network traffic for competitive or malicious purposes.


Preparing for your trip

  • Identify “high risk” countries you plan to visit
    • State.gov issues current travel alerts & warnings.
  • Understand the sensitivity of the data you bring or access.
    • Limit the amount you take with you.
    • Removing unnecessary sensitive data from any device will reduce risk of exposure who may gain access to the device.
  • Learn about software and hardware travel restrictions
    • import /export controls differ by country – care needs to be taken when traveling to certain countries.


Things to remember while traveling

  • When traveling by air, TSA recommends that travelers carry their laptops on to their flights instead of placing them inside checked baggage.
    • A laptop, even if it is in a laptop bag, does not count as a flyer’s carry-on item. In addition to a traditional carry-on bag, flyers are also allowed to bring one extra item on to a flight with them.
  • Avoid using public workstations
    • Public workstations cannot be trusted. Anything entered into one of these systems – IDs, passwords, etc… may be captured and used.
  • When accessing any Colby College resource use VPN where allowed.
    • VPN access may be limited based upon where you are located, as some do not allow VPN access from their county or province.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when working on your devices.
    • Shoulder surfing is a common way in which people can learn your passwords and usernames.
  • In the event of a theft or lost device contact the ITS Support Center at [email protected] or ext. 4222.


When you return back to campus

  • Change any passwords you used during your travel.
    • Upon returning home and returning your loaner device, change any passwords you used while you were traveling. Perform this from your normal Colby issued device