During warmer months, you use sunblock, umbrellas and sunglasses to protect yourself from harmful exposure. Don’t let your personal protection end there. Remember to safeguard your data and mobile devices from potential harm, especially during your summer travels.
To get travel-ready, take these precautions while you still have access to secure Wi-Fi and cellular service:
- Change your password on university accounts to restart the default expiration clock and minimize the need to change it again. See the Unity Password Change Tool. Now is also a great time to set up a password manager, such as LastPass, if you don’t already use one.
- If you haven’t already done so, enroll in NC State’s two-factor authentication (2FA) solutions, Duo Security and Google 2-Step, to add an additional layer of protection to many of your university accounts. Remember to add multiple authentication methods so you will have a variety of ways to access your accounts. Authenticator apps, such as the Duo Mobile app and the Google Authenticator, can make verification codes even without cell or Wi-Fi signal. And for a verification option that doesn’t rely on a phone at all, add a USB U2F Security Key, such as a Yubikey sold at NC State Bookstores. You can find out more about other websites and services that offer two-factor authentication at Two-Factor Auth (2FA).
- Update your device with the latest patches, apps and operating system. Patches are new updates the operating system needs to fix bugs and vulnerabilities. Install them as soon as possible. You should also run the latest version of the apps installed on your device to fix bugs and security vulnerabilities. Whenever prompted, take time to also update your device to the latest operating system to keep it up-to-date and safe from malware. Check for all updates in your device’s settings when possible
- Check TSA regulations and the U.S. Department of State Department Travel Advisories for alerts or warnings, which can include “tech” restrictions, for each country you plan to visit. Visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation website to learn about digital privacy at the U.S. border.
- Clear your devices of any content that may be considered illegal or questionable in other countries, and verify if the location you are traveling to has restrictions on encrypted digital content. If you need help, contact the NC State Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.515.4357 (HELP).
- Delete apps you no longer use to reduce the ways your device can get infected or your information compromised.
- Turn off automatic Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections, so your device will not automatically connect or send your data over unsecured networks to unknown devices.
- Log out of active browser sessions as well as apps that give you access to online content. Remove any saved login credentials. This will prevent someone who is using your device without your knowledge from accessing your accounts.
- Fully encrypt your device to protect personal data; you will need your password to access this data once it is encrypted.
- Power off your devices before arriving at the U.S. border because that is where the risk of nearby high-tech attackers is the highest.
- Opt to store your devices in luggage and carry-on bags that can be locked to avoid theft.
- Use services like Apple’s Find My iPhone, Google’s Find Your Phone or Find Your Android Device to view your device’s location on a map in the event of loss or theft. Remember to lock it!
- Use remote wipe options in the event your device is lost or stolen.
- Enroll your device in eduroam to log in securely to thousands of other educational and research institutions that participate in eduroam worldwide.
- And, of course, charge your device before you leave home and bring your charger with you!