International Travel: Technology

Technology suggestions for when traveling abroad:

Hardware

  • Request a loaner computer (either a PC laptop or a Mac laptop) from DoTS.
  • Administrative access is not provided while traveling but software installations can be done either through Self Service on Macs or Software Center on Windows. DoTS can also provide remote installation of applications if needed.
  • Be aware of power differences. You will most likely need to purchase an appropriate converter for the country you are visiting.
  • Be aware of knock-off power supplies. Many of the inexpensive power supplies can damage your battery and/or hardware.

Duo Multi-Factor Authentication

  • Do not forget your second factor device, whether a smart phone or token. Many times travelers will leave personal cell phones at home or purchase a new SIM card once abroad. If you are planning this, remember to pick up a token form the DoTS Service Center prior to departure.
  • Double check your Duo settings. This will ensure that you have the proper information on file in case you need to call DoTS for a code while away.

Bandwidth/Performance Concerns

  • Know your environment. Applications like Skype, Webex, or "live" online activities may be affected by the local Internet connection or the distance required to traverse the globe. Prepare accordingly if live communication, teaching, or remote presenting will be part of your experience.

Security Concerns

  • Physical security of your device should be considered at all times, it takes only a second for your device to be taken.  Travelers are targeted at airports, hotels and restaurants. 
  • Consider all Internet communications as insecure connections. WiFi connections that seem legitimate can easily be spying devices, often placed where travelers pass through. Laws vary per country and many countries have laws that permit state sponsored eavesdropping of traffic. 
  • Do not use public WiFi access at hotels or cafes.  Instead do use a mobile cellular hotspots or seek out WiFi at trusted university educational facilities whenever possible.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) is provided as a connection medium back to campus while traveling with your university owned device. This allows for a secure encrypted connection back to campus.  VPN is not installed by default on university devices, you need to install it before you depart.
  • The possession of, or use of, VPN software and services may be illegal in some countries. It may also be a violation of US law to take VPN software into some countries, violating export laws related to encryption technologies. Be aware that VPN can also be blocked or access can vary from country to country depending on local laws.  
  • Any technology devices you may have with you are subject to local search and seizure laws of countries you travel including return into the United States. (There are opinions that your "rights" as a  US citizen do not begin until after you are past customs or border patrol check points. Always comply with immigration agent orders.)

Technology Support

  • If your password is set to expire while off campus, set a new password to avoid any complications while abroad.
  • Refer to DoTS' hours to know when we are available. Remember to account for the time change.
  • Getting help off hours can be difficult. If you do not need immediate assistance, an email to DoTS will get you help when the office opens. If technology-related emergency help is required, call DoTS and leave a message. If you leave a message notifying us that a critical service is not working, we start working on that immediately. If the call is related to a non-critical service or individual account, we start working on that when the office opens.

Personally-Issued Work Machine

While DoTS encourages a travel loaner, if you will be bringing your personally-issued university laptop, consider the following:

  • Verify that VPN has been configured. If not, download and install from either Self Service (Mac) or Software Center (PC). Note security recommendations above.
  • Search for information located on the computer and remove any sensitive data.
  • Remember to bring your power supply.
  • Schedule a time to visit DoTS for a quick travel consultation and review of your equipment.

Other Resources