IT security tips for you—Travel safely with tech & watch for phishing


This information was sent via email to faculty and staff at UM-Ann Arbor and Michigan Medicine on April 11, 2019.

As the semester winds down, we would like to share some tips to help you spot phishing scams and travel safely with your technology this summer.

Watch for Phishing Scams

Got a minute? Are you available? Those are typical opening questions in a phishing scam frequently seen at U-M. Scammers send email that appears to come from your boss or a university office you work with asking for a favor—often the purchase of gift cards for an urgent situation. They take advantage of your willingness to be helpful. Safe Computing: It's good for you and the U.

Safe Computing—It's good for you and the U.

  • Be suspicious of urgent, unfamiliar requests. Check with the apparent sender by phone call, chat, or in-person if you are at all unsure. Or send a separate email to the person's usual email address. Do not reply to the request itself.
  • Ignore requests for payment via gift card. "Anyone who demands payment by gift card is always, always, always a scammer," according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). "Gift cards are for gifts, not payments."
  • Verify unusual requests for money (via wire transfer, gift card, or other means) from your supervisor or leadership before acting.

Travel Safely with Technology

  • Require a password, passcode, or PIN for access to your device, and set the screen to lock after 15 or fewer minutes of inactivity.
  • Turn on the app or feature that helps you find your device and/or erase its contents if it is lost or stolen.
  • Plan ahead for two-factor. If you will be away from your usual Duo two-factor option, set up an option in advance to use when traveling. See Traveling with Duo.
  • Always use a secure Internet connection, and turn off optional network connections (WiFi, Bluetooth) when you are not using them.
  • If you work with sensitive U-M data, follow these Instructions for Securing Your Devices and Data. Consider taking a loaner device that can be erased after your trip if your department offers this service. MiWorkspace users can contact Neighborhood IT through the ITS Service Center to request a loaner device.

Enjoy Your Summer!

Enjoy your travels, watch out for phishing, and keep your devices and data safe. If you have any questions or concerns, we would love to hear from you.


Ravi Pendse, Ph.D.
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
University of Michigan

Sol Bermann
Interim Chief Information Security Officer and Chief Privacy Officer
University of Michigan

Additional Resources

Traveling with Technology

Beware of Phishing

Date Sent: 
Thursday, April 11, 2019