Information Security

Best Practices for Data Security on Foreign Travel

Before you go

  • Do not take any sensitive data with you.  If it is absolutely necessary, please contact SP2 Information Services so we can coordinate laptop encryption.
  • Do not take any sensitive or important information on external thumb drives, hard drives, etc. unless those devices are encrypted. (NOTE: Encryption technology is subject to export controls. Users intending to travel to Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Iran or Iraq should contact Penn’s Office of Research Service for assistance in determining whether an export license is required.)
  • Ensure that your device is patched/updated.
  • All laptops, phones, tablets must have a password/PIN to access the device.
  • If you do have data stored on the laptop, ensure that a full backup has been made. Contact SP2 Information Services if you have questions.
  • Be sensitive to local privacy laws. Contact the Office of Audit, Compliance and Privacy for advice regarding the applicability of international privacy regulations.

While you’re away

  • Select WiFi connections that encrypt traffic, are restricted with a password and are provided by a trusted source (University, colleague, hotel, etc.) whenever possible. Use encrypted services whenever in doubt (e.g., HTTPS over HTTP) when web-browsing.
  • Avoid accessing sensitive websites from public computers, such as at Internet cafés, as their security is highly unreliable.
  • Keep mobile devices on your person or in a locked safe whenever possible. If your device is stolen, notify SP2 Information Services immediately or call ISC Information Security at 215-898-2172. See Data Security on Foreign Travel

When you return

  • Perform an antivirus and malware scan on your laptop.  Please contact SP2 Information Services for assistance with this.
  • Schedule a reimage (operating system/software reinstallation) if the device is having issues or as a precautionary measure.

For More Assistance Regarding Traveling Abroad

Penn Global Support Services

Penn Global Support Services: http://global.upenn.edu/gss
Penn Global Support Services, technology: https://global.upenn.edu/travel-guidance/technology

ISC Information Security

https://www.isc.upenn.edu/security/info

SP2 News

Faculty & Research

SP2 Faculty Member Testifies Before Congress on Competition in U.S. Labor Markets

Ioana Marinescu, PhD, assistant professor at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, recently provided testimonial before Congress during a...

Cover image for The Center for High Impact Philanthropy’s “We the People: A Philanthropic Guide to Strengthening Democracy”

Faculty & Research, Gifts & Giving

A Philanthropic Approach to Strengthening Democracy

For the past several decades, there’s been a marked decline in how much U.S. citizens trust the country’s democratic process....

Raekwon Burton

Student Life, Global Engagement

MSW Student Reflects on Transformative Experience in India

Prior to enrolling in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2),...

Dr. Jerri Bourjolly

Faculty & Research, Student Life

SP2 Task Force on Race and Social Justice

Earlier this year, Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) launched the SP2 Task Force on Race and Social...

Discover More