We all like to travel with our mobile devices (smartphones, laptops, or tablets) whether it’s to the coffee shop around the corner or to a café in Paris. These devices make it easy for us to stay connected while on the go, but they can also store a lot of information including contacts, photos, videos, location, and other personal and financial data about ourselves and our friends and family.
Follow these tips to help protect your devices and information:
Before You Go:
- If possible, do not take your work or personal devices with you on international trips. If you do, remove or encrypt any confidential data.
- For international travel, consider using temporary devices, such as an inexpensive laptop and a prepaid cell phone purchased specifically for travel.
- Install a device finder or manager on your mobile device in case it is lost or stolen. Make sure it has remote wipe capabilities and that you know how to do a remote wipe.
- Ensure that any device has the latest security and anti-virus updates applied. (Sophos Anti-Virus is free for students and staff).
- Set up eduroam (education roaming) to be able to get online at universities, research sites and other educational communities worldwide.
- Makes copies of your travel documents and any credit cards you’re taking with you. Leave the copies with a trusted friend, in case the items are lost or stolen.
- Set an out of office reminder.
- Keep prying eyes out! Use strong passwords, passcodes, or smart-phone touch ID to lock and protect your devices.
- Avoid posting social media announcements about your travel plans; such announcements make you an easy target for thieves. Wait until you’re home to post your photos or share details about your trip.
While you are there:
- Never use the computers available in public areas, hotel business centers, or cyber cafés since they may be loaded with keyloggers and malware.
- Be careful when using public wireless networks or Wi-Fi hotspots; they’re not secure, so anyone could potentially see what you’re doing on your computer or mobile device while you’re connected.
- When going online use a trusted Wi-Fi such as a hotel or conference centre Wi-fi. Always use the UCD VPN (Available to UCD Staff) when accessing University Services or Apps. Contact the helpdesk for more information.
- Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use. Some stores and other locations search for devices with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled to track your movements when you’re within range.
- Keep your devices with you at all times during your travels. Do not assume they will be safe in your hotel room or in a hotel safe.
- It’s hard to resist sharing photos or telling friends and family about your adventures, but it’s best to wait to post about your trip on social media until you return home.
- Physically protect yourself, your devices, and any identification documents (especially your passport).
- Don’t use an ATM unless you have no other option; instead, work with a teller inside the bank. If you must use an ATM, only do so during daylight hours and ask a friend to watch your back. Also check the ATM for any skimming devices, and use your hand to cover the number pad as you enter your PIN.
When You Return:
- Change any and all passwords you may have used abroad.
- Run full antivirus scans on your devices.
- If you used a credit card while traveling, check your monthly statements for any discrepancies for at least one year after you return.
- If you downloaded any apps specifically for your trip and no longer need them, be sure to delete those apps and the associated data.
- Post all of your photos on social media and enjoy reliving the experience!