Keep your devices secure while traveling

Whether you’re leaving for a semester abroad, taking a flight to a conference on the other side of the country, or simply traveling to a nearby city, it is important to ensure your laptop and other mobile devices remain secure.

Below are resources and recommendations that will help keep data on both your personal and university-owned devices from being compromised.

Prior to Traveling:

  • Enable Google 2-Step Verification. This 2-factor authentication program helps protect your Gmail and Google Drive files from being accessed by intruders, even if your password gets hacked. Also, your successful logins using this secure method will help prevent account lockout, due to suspicious login attempts from an unfamiliar location. Be sure to add a secondary backup authentication method, such as printed backup codes, in case your phone cannot receive text codes while traveling.
  • Make any needed security patches and software updates. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in outdated programs to infect your devices; therefore, performing consistent and timely updates is an added barrier against intrusion.

While Traveling:

Connect to secured, password-protected networks. It is tempting, when traveling, to join any open wifi or Internet network you encounter, since you may not know when another network will be available. However, unsecured networks can allow hackers easy access to your communications and data. Try only to access known networks, such as cellular or other secured networks. If you must connect to an unsecured network, make the connection as brief as possible, do not transmit sensitive data (such as banking or credit card information), and log off the connection as soon as you are done.

If you suspect your account or device has been compromised while traveling, contact the NC State Help Desk or 919.515.4357 (HELP). The Help Desk is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of university holidays.