Secure Your Devices Before You Travel

padlock with key hole in middle.

Published June 14, 2021

The following guidance was announced by J. Brice Bible, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, in an email dated May 13, 2021:

Print

As the semester nears an end, many of us will rely on our phones, laptops and tablets to stay connected while we travel home or away from UB. But traveling with these devices carries a certain amount of risk. On a personal level, you could be a target for identity theft or other fraud if your device is lost, stolen or handled by someone else while away, especially if you are traveling internationally.

Take Precautions

UB-related information on your devices—like your UBmail, UB Learns, UBbox, etc.—are potential targets for theft and espionage by foreign intelligence agencies and others. 

Regardless where you are traveling this season, we encourage you to be mindful of the risks involved in traveling with digital devices, and take precautions to minimize that risk.

  • If you are traveling with UB-owned devices, please talk with your IT support staff to make them aware of your travel plans, and so they can ensure your devices have the appropriate security measures.
  • Print passcodes for Duo two-step verification. If your device is lost or stolen, make sure you have printed passcodes available for use. To do this, visit buffalo.edu/ubit/duo and selecting “Manage Account.” The Duo Mobile app can still also generate passcodes when your phone does not have a reliable Internet connection.
  • Exercise additional caution when travelling to high-risk countries subject to U.S. government travel warnings. You can find a list of high-risk countries and best practices while traveling with digital devices on the UBIT website.

Traveling with a computer

  • Good: Remove unnecessary data, such as emails you have downloaded, before you travel. Be sure to encrypt any drives to protect your documents.
  • Minimal: Remove restricted data like social security numbers from your devices when you travel, make sure your software and operating system are up to date, and install anti-virus and firewall software.

Traveling with phones and tablets

  • Good: Create a backup of your device, then, before you travel, reset your device to factory settings (wiping any existing data on the device). When you return, you can restore the backup you made.
  • Minimal: Make sure your apps and operating system are up to date, turn on Duo two-step verification (buffalo.edu/ubit/duo), and use security measures to lock your devices.

If your devices are connecting back to the university, always use our secure VPN. 

For more information on protecting your devices and information, visit buffalo.edu/ubit/safe.