Traveling with Company-Issued Devices
When traveling for business, we typically travel with company-issued devices such as laptops, mobile phones or tablets. During these trips it is important to be mindful that your device could be targeted for access to both corporate and personal information. According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, economic espionage is a growing threat that costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars annually. Theft attempts by foreign competitors and adversaries are becoming increasingly bold and varied in approach. Consider the following tips before you pack your electronics for business travel.
Before You Go
- Register with Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service that allows US citizens and nationals to register their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Registering will allow you to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions and also help the US Embassy, family, and friends contact you in an emergency.
- Check with your phone service provider to obtain a travel package to help reduce costs associated with roaming, data and voice charges. Don’t forget to include countries where you have a connecting flight or layover. When traveling to high-risk (red zone) countries, consider replacing your phone with a temporary one for security reasons.
- Turn off automatic check-ins and location tracking on social media accounts.
- Turn off WiFi, Bluetooth, and Near-Field Communication (NFC) on your devices.
While You’re Traveling
- Privacy laws differ internationally. Remember that some countries allow data to be intercepted for analysis or do not punish this type of activity. Use devices that are equipped with solutions, such as VPN, that encrypt information being transmitted over the internet.
- Maintain physical control of your devices.
- When not in use, secure your devices by locking them in a safe or using a cable lock.
- Turn off WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, and infrared on your phone and laptop. (Infrared is a wireless mobile technology used for device communication over short ranges.)
- Avoid the following actions:
- using mobile devices to log into secure websites, such as banking, email and social media
- posting status messages on social media sites
- using non-corporate video conference or internet telephone services
- connecting your device to a standalone public charging station or foreign laptop
- Use a landline whenever possible.
- Do not allow foreign electronic devices to connect to your device.
- Always bring your own USB cable and AC adapter.
Taking these precautionary steps while traveling for business will help decrease the chances of putting your company and personal information at risk. Enjoy your travels by being security smart!