Traveling? Protect your data and devices

July 22, 2015  //  FOUND IN: Announcements

The summer travel season is here. If you plan on using or accessing UMHS data resources while you’re away, your preparation must include taking steps to protect privacy and security.

The UMHS Compliance Office, MCIT and MSIS, together with U-M Information and Technology Services (ITS), offer the following tips for travelers:

All Devices (Laptops, Smartphones, Tablets and Removable Media)

  • Take only those files, devices and applications that are absolutely necessary; avoid taking any sensitive information or PHI if at all possible.
  • Make sure all devices are encrypted, whether they are University or personally owned. (If you are planning to travel outside of the United States, and have a UMHS encrypted device, such as a laptop, please contact the MCIT Service Desk at 734-936-8000 to find out if there are any restrictions for bringing such devices into the country where you are traveling.)
  • If your personally owned device is not encrypted, consider borrowing a device from your department’s IT provider.
  • Keep devices close at hand or locked away; if your hotel has a safe, use it.
  • Use up-to-date antivirus software.
  • Install the UMHS VPN, which is required if you wish to connect to the UMHS network (instructions here).
  • Use cellular networks when available; if you must use open WiFi networks, protect your connection by using the UMHS VPN.
  • Disable wireless, GPS and Bluetooth when not in use.
  • Change your UMICH (Level-1) password when you return home; this will block anyone who may have gained access to your accounts while traveling.

Mobile Devices (Smartphones and Tablets)

  • Enroll your smartphones and tablets in AirWatch, the UMHS-supported mobile device management system, if possible.
  • Enable security settings, including passcode, auto lock, and device-tracking features such as “Find My Phone” on any smartphone or tablet not enrolled in AirWatch.

It is also important to remember that using hotel or other public computers could put your accounts at risk. These types of devices are often compromised and infected with malicious software that could capture your usernames and passwords. Do not use these devices to log into resources that give access to sensitive institutional data (including PHI) or your own private personal information.

For more information, check out these tips from the ITS Safe Computing: Traveling with Technology page:

Your IT Service Desk is also available to answer questions: