Safe Computing When Traveling

Remember to protect your devices, personal information and U-M data when you travel. Check out our video and then the detailed tips below.

Before You Travel

Taking time to plan and do a little preparation before you travel can prevent problems and aggravation.

International travelers: See International Travel with Technology for important guidance for travel outside the United States, including requirements regarding using U-M data and devices.

Only take what you need

  • Don't take personal or U-M data or devices you won't need.
  • Use encrypted devices when you travel with U-M data. See Encrypt Your Data. Consider an encrypted flash drive (Available for purchase at the ITS Tech Shop) if you need removable storage.

Update and prepare devices

  • Update all software and operating systems before traveling.
  • Be sure that anti-virus/malware software is installed and up-to-date on personal devices. Scan your devices before leaving for your trip.
  • Students, faculty, and staff should install the U-M VPN (Virtual Private Network).
  • Backup your device before you travel in case it is lost or stolen.

Set up basic security settings

  • See Traveling With Duo for two-factor options, and create passcodes if you might travel to places without cellular service.
  • Alumni and retirees can turn on two-factor for Weblogin to protect their personal information in Wolverine Access, as well as U-M Google, U-M Box, Canvas, and more. It is automatically turned on for all current faculty, staff, students, and sponsored affiliates.
  • Turn on multi-factor authentication for personal accounts where available. This is strongly recommended for your personal email service, banking services, and other sensitive accounts.
  • Use a passcode and auto-lock on all devices. Lock them when not in use.
  • Turn on the find-my-device feature.

While You Are Traveling

Do not leave your devices unattended in public.

Connect Securely

  • Disable auto-connecting to WiFi so you don’t accidentally connect to insecure networks.
  • Visiting another educational institution? Students, faculty, and staff should use eduroam WiFi access, to access U-M resources. Use the WiFi setup tool before travel to configure eduroam.
  • Use a VPN or cellular network for a more secure connection. See Use a Secure Internet Connection for more advice on connecting when off campus.
  • Turn off wireless, GPS, and Bluetooth when not in use.
  • Use U-M Virtual Sites for remote access to computers on the U-M campus with the same software as Campus Computing Sites Windows workstations.

Avoid common security pitfalls

  • Do not leave your devices unattended in public.
  • Never enter or access sensitive data when using a shared or public computer. For example, do not enter your U-M or personal account credentials.
  • Don't use free charging stations. Always pack your own chargers and cords.
  • Do not accept removable media or free downloads unless you are absolutely sure the source is trustworthy.
  • Do not use personal, non-U-M- accounts to maintain or share sensitive U-M data as noted in Use of Personal Accounts and Data Security and the Personal Account page in the Sensitive Data Guide to IT Services.
  • Be cautious about sharing location and other sensitive information on social media.

If Your Device is Lost or Stolen

  • Promptly report incidents that involve loss, theft, or breach of personally owned devices that store or handle sensitive U-M data, in accordance with Information Security Incident Reporting (SPG 601.25)
  • Contact the IT Service Center for assistance in changing your U-M passwords.
  • Contact local authorities to report the loss or theft.
  • Change the passwords for access to sensitive personal services, like email and banking.