Cybersecurity Tips for International Travel

Traveling internationally presents unique cybersecurity challenges and potentially increased risks. The recommendations below can help USNH community members safeguard both institutional and personal data. If you are traveling abroad for University-related activities, make sure to read USNH’s International Travel Policy.

In Advance of Travel:

  • Review the U.S State Department’s Alerts and Warnings web page for any travel advisories.
  • Learn more about the destination you are visiting on the U.S. Department of State Country Travel Information page. Educate yourself on local laws, regulations, and security information. Locations with a higher risk of data and identity theft may require specific actions to be taken in advance.
  • Be aware of any U.S. export control regulations that may exist for your travels.
  • Conduct a full backup of data as an extra precaution in case your device is stolen or lost.
  • Do not store sensitive, protected, or restricted data on a device unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Enable MFA wherever possible and use strong passwords.
  • Make sure your device’s operating system is up to date, as well as any applications on your device.
  • Consult with ET&S Cybersecurity GRC if you have any questions or need assistance preparing for a trip.
  • Notify your bank and/or financial institutions of your international travel plans. This can minimize the risk that the bank may suspect the charges are fraudulent and freeze the account.

On Your Trip:

  • Do not open attachments or click links from unknown sources.
  • Be aware of public wireless networks, such as those found in airports, restaurants, and hotels. Verify the network’s name that you are connecting to and make sure it is legitimate. Attackers can spoof Wi-Fi network names to capture data. Avoid conducting activities on public wireless networks that involve your personal data.
  • Never leave your device unattended.
  • Disable wireless and Bluetooth when not in use.
  • Use a non-privileged account wherever possible.
  • Only visit trusted websites that are encrypted (make sure the URL begins with HTTPS).
  • Avoid using publicly accessible devices.  When you use a public computer, any credentials you enter may be captured and at risk of compromise.

Additional Resources:

FBI Business Travel Tips

Federal Communications Commission: Cybersecurity Tips for International Travel

CISA: Cybersecurity Tips While Traveling

FTC Consumer Advice: Common Travel Scams