Tips For International Travel

International travel can expose you to some special data security risks. Before you travel, please review the following recommendations in order to avoid inconvenient or unpleasant incidents.

Bookmark the linked resources for easy access while you are away.

Before You Leave

  • Ask your host if there is anything special you should be aware of regarding best security practices in the country or region you are visiting. Also be sure to inquire about local laws that may affect the kinds of devices or software you are allowed to bring with you or use during your stay.
  • Consult with the University Research Administration’s Export Controls experts to make certain any technology, research materials, or other travel arrangements are in compliance with relevant local and international laws.
  • Visit the U.S. State Department travel website to familiarize yourself with travel conditions in your destination country.
    • Check for travel alerts that may affect your itinerary at the U.S. State Department’s travel alerts page.
    • Review all safety and security recommendations.
    • Check customs and local legal regulations concerning sensitive equipment, software, and technology, including hacking tools and encryption. Consider taking a loaner device if encryption is not permitted in the country you are visiting.
  • Consider signing up for UChicago Traveler, where you can register your travel itinerary and contact information for your trip. This will make it easier for the University to assist you overseas in case of an emergency or crisis.

While You Are Traveling

Do not take privacy for granted. Customs officials may ask you to present your devices and removable media upon entering or exiting the country. They may also ask you to decrypt data for inspection. Failure to comply with these requests could result in legal consequences, so the best policy is to not carry any data with you at all.

In some areas, phone calls and electronic communications may be monitored at hotels as standard practice. Keep sensitive or confidential conversations, transactions, and data transfers to a minimum.

After You Return Home

If you are returning from travel in a high-risk region, it is particularly important to scan your devices before reconnecting them to your home or campus network.

Contact the IT Services Security team for assistance if you have any questions or concerns about your devices or your data after returning from am international trip.