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Summer 2017 Tech Travel Tips

Traveling this summer? Just a reminder to students, faculty and staff traveling internationally to be mindful of the safety and security of your devices, and the data that’s stored on them.

When traveling, the risk of device loss or theft are often higher than at home. Additionally, as has been widely reported in the media, border control agents for the U.S. and other governments have in some cases asked travelers to unlock their device’s security for digital searches, or to turn the devices over.

Protect yourself, your privacy, and Davidson’s data by taking a few steps before you travel.

Remove confidential Davidson data before travel (faculty/staff). Davidson employees who have access to confidential information (including student data, personnel/HR data, protected health information, etc.) should remove those materials from their devices before traveling or contact Information Technology Services (ITS) about options for loaner devices. If these data are stored in Dropbox, use selective sync to remove those folders from your computer or unlink Dropbox from your computer and remove the files from your device; you can still access them via Dropbox on the web.

Use a passcode/fingerprint lock. For Apple iOS devices, a passcode/fingerprint also encrypts the device. For Android devices, enable encryption in Security settings.

Enable device locate/erase features. Enroll your phones/tablets in Find My iPhone (iOS) or Android Device Manager before traveling, or use Outlook Web Access to erase a lost device. For laptops, consult ITS on secure use of Dropbox as discussed above.

Safeguard your devices. Keep devices with you or somewhere secure (like a hotel safe) at all times. Don’t use USB charging stations or borrowed USB flash drives. Use screen locks/screen saver passwords on devices. Ask ITS to check your antivirus and other security software before traveling.

Secure your Internet access. Use Eduroam wi-fi at colleges/universities for secure roaming, or use your mobile phone’s hotspot features (iOS, Android). Avoid free, unsecured wi-fi spots, and never run computer updates over them. If you must use public wi-fi, faculty and staff can use Davidson VPN for security.

Be aware of border policies. Border control agents (including at U.S. points of entry) may demand access to your devices or confiscate the devices. Besides reducing your sensitive data footprint to protect Davidson’s data, consider other steps to safeguard your privacy and digital information. The Electronic Frontier Foundation provides a useful guide on this subject.

Enable two-factor authentication. Your bank may already take the precaution of sending you an SMS message before allowing you to access their web site or wire money. You can enable this protection for other accounts you may have including Google, Facebook and more. You can find sites that support two-factor and instructions for getting started at https://twofactorauth.org. (We don’t yet have the ability to offer this for Davidson accounts.

Report lost, stolen, or compromised devices. Contact local authorities to report the loss/theft of any device with Davidson data, then contact Davidson ITS (+1-704-894-2900 or its@davidson.edu). Contact ITS directly if you believe your Davidson accounts or devices may have been hacked.