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Information Technology Services

Travel Security Tips

before, during, and after

Follow these guidelines to protect your devices and the data they contain while you travel.

* recommended for international travel only.

  1. *Change your passwords. Change your BC Passwords, and any passwords for internet services you use such as Gmail or Facebook.

  2. Travel light. If you don't absolutely need to bring a device (such as a laptop, smartphone, or tablet), then don't bring it. This way you protect the devices, and information on these devices, from theft or loss that could occur while traveling.

  3. Avoid bringing devices that contain private data. 
    • Faculty/Staff: Talk to your Technology Consultant about obtaining a loaner laptop for your trip. This will limit the loss of both BC and personal data in the event the device is lost, stolen, or confiscated by officials.
      NOTE: ID Finder is software on your BC-owned computer that scans for social security numbers and credit card numbers. You can run a manual scan before your trip to ensure your computer doesn't contain this type of confidential data. 
    • If you bring private data, we recommend that you bring a copy of the data on an encrypted USB memory device. If the encrypted USB device is lost or stolen, your data is inaccessible to whomever finds the device.
  4. Update your software. Updates often correct security vulnerabilities of your operating system or software. Therefore, it's important to always keep your software up-to-date, especially before traveling. (If updates are necessary while abroad, download the updates directly from the software vendor’s website).

  5. Setup Eagle VPN on your laptop or smartphone. To be extra safe, use Eagle VPN when connecting your devices to any networks abroad. VPN technology encrypts the data you send over the internet.

  6. Backup your computer. See for options and instructions.

  7. Password-protect your devices. If you don’t already have a password setup to log into your computer, tablet, or smartphone, follow the manufacturer's instructions to add a password. 

  8. *Verify your hardware warranty and repair information. If you are bringing a laptop with you, check the computer manufacturer’s website for repair information in the country to which you're traveling. Print and bring this information with you in case you experience any hardware problems abroad. See for information about computing support while abroad.

  9. *Determine if you need adapters or converters for your devices. Make sure you have the proper plug adapter. Modern laptops have "switching" power supplies that can use both standard AC and DC current in most countries, but wall outlets outside the United States are often a different style and may require you to use an adapter.
  1. *Be aware that foreign agencies in some counties may monitor or copy data from your devices without your knowledge or consent. If you have sensitive intellectual property that might have research or commercial value, avoid bringing it into these countries. Also, do not copy sensitive information onto a computer that has visited such a country and has not been examined by a security expert upon your return to the U.S. Visit for travel advisories for specific countries.

  2. Use EagleVPN when connected to insecure networks. Visit for more information.

  3. Visit secure websites. Secure websites start with https (note the "s" at the end) and NOT http. Only enter confidential and sensitive information on secure web pages.

  4. Be cautious clicking on pop-ups. This is especially true while using untrusted hotel internet connections. Some pop-ups are actually scams designed to trick people into installing malicious software. Update your software by going directly to the vendor’s website to avoid this type of scam.

  5. Don't use shared computers to login to accounts. If you use computers that do not belong to you, such as those in cyber-cafes, in libraries, or even a friend's computer, you must assume they are not secure. As when using any shared computer, don't enter sensitive information such as login information for Gmail, banks, or credit cards. And never enter information such as bank account numbers, or credit cards numbers. Keyloggers, “shoulder surfing” and cameras pointed toward keyboards are common ways that credentials are compromised.
For Advanced Users: If you need to do online banking, shop, or manipulate sensitive data using someone else's computer, consider creating a bootable CD-ROM, such as Knoppix, and bringing it with you for this purpose. By starting the shared computer from your disk, you will ensure that no malicious software is running on the computer and your data is secure.
  1. Reset your BC Passwords if you think your account has been compromised. You can reset your passwords yourself on Agora Portal within the “Account and Personal Info” section of the “My Services” tab. If you need additional help, contact the BC Help Center at 617-552-4357 or email
  1. *Reset your passwords. When you return to the U.S., you should reset your passwords. If passwords were compromised while you were abroad, changing them upon your return will render the stolen ones useless.
Members of the BC community are encouraged to contact the ITS Security team at with any questions they have about the information on this page.