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Recommendations for Foreign Travel

Be sure to contact ITS at itshelp@law.upenn.edu or 215-898-2589 with IT related travel questions.

Before you go:

  • Backup all data, and take only the minimum data necessary. Avoid carrying any University sensitive or confidential data unless absolutely necessary. 
  • Consider changing your PennKey and LawKey passwords for the duration of your travel
  • Work with ITS on a methodology for remote identity proofing in the event that a device is lost or stolen and new credentials must be issued.
  • Ensure best practices are in place for all mobile devices: encryption*, PIN or strong password protection, auto-lock after inactivity, auto-wipe after failed login attempts, device location services, and remote wipe.
  • Notify ITS of your travel itinerary so we can ensure your continued access to Penn Carey Law services abroad. 

While you’re there:

  • Know your wireless network and use encrypted services. WiFi connections that encrypt traffic are restricted with a password and are preferable to free and/or unencrypted services. Encrypted WiFi is provided by a trusted source similar to a University, a colleague, or a hotel, etc. (If you must use a free WiFi connection, avoid connecting to any website or service that requires password authentication including Penn systems with sensitive data, banking or financial sites, etc.)
  • Use Penn’s GlobalProtect VPN to connect securely to the campus network.
  • Do not access systems or accounts that are not absolutely necessary
  • Do not leave computers, phones and other electronic devices unattended (e.g., in hotel room) if at all possible.

When you return:

  • Consider a wipe & re-install OS or restore from trusted backup. Carefully consider the transfer of any new data on to the restored system and scan before transfer.
  • Consider changing your PennKey/LawKey password if you used it while on your trip. 

 Additional considerations:

  • Consider taking a loaner laptop from ITS and take only the required data needed for your trip. Reserve a loaner through ITS
  • Consider whether or not it is feasible to use disposable (e.g., “burner”) accounts for email, file sharing and any other required services.
  • Remember that not all internet connections are equal, and give preference to cellular over WiFi if available and coordinated with your provider in advance.  Many carriers will rent a cellular WiFi hostpot that will allow you to use cellular data via WiFi.  This is not only convenient, but it is safer than using other WiFi.
    (Note: Law School WiFi HotSpots do not work internationally. If you are traveling internationally and need a WiFi hotspot, please contact ITS at least 7 business days before your trip.)

* Please note that you may be asked to relinquish or decrypt resources by local or national government officials.

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