IT Security

Before You Go

  • If you can do without it, leave it at home. This is especially true in the instance of smart watches that may be dependent on other devices to get the full scope of use and have separate charging requirements.
  • Back up your data and leave it in a secure location prior to departure.
  • Use OneDrive for all data storage.
  • Make sure your software is up to date, especially antivirus and antimalware software.
  • Make sure your passwords are strong (unique, complex, random, as needed).

Upon Returning

  • Assume your credentials were compromised while you were abroad. Upon your return, reset all the passwords that you utilized while out of the country.
  • Clear your browsing history.
  • Return all borrowed/loaner equipment to the Help Desk.

Recommendations for Travelers

Specifically, if you are traveling to a country with a DOS Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution travel advisory or above, UITS recommends the following:

  • Obtain a Duo Mobile key fob ( - the UITS Service Desk will provide a key fob to use in lieu of a Duo push.
  • Copy needed data to your KSU OneDrive share.
  • Utilize the KSU Global Protect VPN software ( installed on the laptop. Never sign in to public Wi-Fi and connect without using a VPN.
  • Keep your devices with you at all times. Do not leave them in your hotel room, even in a safe, unattended. You should use this precaution, regardless of your travel destination.

Related Policy Links

Travelers should familiarize themselves with the following policies prior to travel. They are located at

  • Data Security
  • Computer Usage
  • Intellectual Property

Protecting Research Data

    • Some countries reserve the right to inspect or copy data from electronic devices from international travelers, including those returning to the United States. Make sure you know what to expect from your destination.
    • Some countries do not permit the possession of material or media that might be politically or nationally critical of the government or country. Avoid storing such media on your electronic devices.
    • It is not uncommon for government agents or officials to knowingly access or copy confidential information.
    • Decide to retain the minimum necessary data, applications, or files on your electronic device. In addition, minimize the total number of devices you bring along.
    • Consider the local telecommunications infrastructure and plan accordingly. For instance, if you use your phone for Duo authentication, and you are traveling to an area without reliable service, arrange for an alternative method (such as a Duo token) that does not rely on a cellular connection.
    • Be aware of any restrictions related to the data for which you are entrusted.


    • Create a new backup of all critical data and files to a university-approved backup device you plan to leave at home.
    • Make sure the software (operating systems, virus protection apps) on your devices are patched and up to date
    • Completely clear your history, passwords, and caches from the browsers that you use.
    • Ensure that your device’s drive is encrypted.
    • Consider using OneDrive to store data/documents while you are abroad.


    • Disable all unnecessary services (e.g. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, when not in use) on your device.
    • Power off your device when not in use.
    • If you are asked to surrender your credentials to search your device, change it as soon as possible afterwards.
    • Always connect to the internet through the KSU Global Protect VPN.
    • Never use your credentials on any public machine.
    • Do not use storage devices given to you or found, such as a USB drive.


*Travelers should also be aware that they may encounter increased scrutiny and screening of electronic devices at ports of entry both in certain destinations as well as upon re-entry into the United States.