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Securing Devices for Travel

Updated on 4/12/17

Methods for securing a laptop before your trip

  • Consider not bringing a laptop or other devices with you. Instead, keep any needed files in an NYU approved secure cloud location (NYU Box for confidential/restricted data or NYU Drive for less classified data) and access files from your smartphone.
  • Bring a laptop with no data files on it. Make sure operating system and security software are up to date ahead of the trip, that the account you are using has a strong password, and that the newest version of VPN is on the laptop. Once at your destination, log into the VPN and access your files in their secure cloud location*
  • Encrypt files you absolutely have to store on the laptop.
    Encrypting files and folders on Mac OS: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH22247?locale=en_US&viewlocale=en_US
  • Encrypting files and folders on Windows 7, 8, and 10: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/instantanswers/c5e573c5-78f0-48dd-a998-181580274cdf/how-to-encrypt-a-file
    • Please note: If you receive an error message that you cannot encrypt files and folders on a Windows laptop please contact the Gallatin Helpdesk to discuss other options.
  • Encrypt your entire laptop or device. Caveat: if you forget this password and the generated key your files cannot be recovered for you, so be very careful about choosing this option! Also, again, third party software for disk encryption is not supported by NYU. BitLocker for Windows and FileVault for Mac are supported, but we have no way to recover your data stored on the laptop if you lose your password and key.

Best practices


Access files from your smartphone

  • Make sure that your smartphone has a passcode, fingerprint ID, and/or passphrase before you travel
  • Make sure all smartphone updates have been applied and that the newest version of NYU’s VPN solution is installed
  • Download all the apps you may need to your smartphone from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, or that any software you need on your Windows smartphone or tablet is already installed. Did you know that many apps are available for free to Apple and Android phones? You can download NYU Box, Google Drive, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, PDF readers, Google Chrome, Gmail, Google Calendar, Skype, Google Hangouts, and many more FREE productivity tools from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store!