Travel Tips

UISO recommends securing your electronic devices and accessing GU via VPN.  Upon request, UISO may grant you temporary access to full tunnel, or “travel” VPN.

***Note: In June of 2017, China introduced its own Cybersecurity Law, which greatly ramped up Chinese censorship. In 2018, China introduced a VPN ban. While Georgetown University is able to provide full tunnel GU VPN service, we cannot guarantee that it will function properly while in China. Reports of inconsistent access to VPN in China were widespread even prior to the ban.

Effective Practice: Cybersecurity for the International Traveler is provided by the The Research and Education Networks Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC) which serves over 620 member institutions within the higher education and research community by promoting cybersecurity operational protections and response.

At the point of entry and exit, these countries claim a right to search and seize your technology devices:

  1. No requirement for cause
  2. No restrictions on handling of data
  3. No timeline for data destruction
  4. No promise of secure storage
  5. Can require you to decrypt or provide keys/passwords

Promptly and calmly comply with any request for search/seizure of your devices.  Contact UISO at or call (202) 687-3031 when you are able to.  

Data Security 

Here are guidelines to help you protect your data.

  • Only bring the information that you absolutely *need* when traveling
  • Store data in GUBox, which is fully encrypted and accessible anywhere
  • High Risk data should *not* be stored on any laptop or device
  • Encrypt your devices; use different PIN numbers to unlock each device
  • Transport your laptop inconspicuously in a padded backpack or messenger bag
  • Keep your laptop in fulll view at all times
  • Never use public wi-fi; check your settings on all of your devices to ensure they do not connect automatically to available wi-fi networks
  • Turn off bluetooth
  • Always use Georgetown Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect to the internet and any Georgetown resources
  • Avoid USB charging points, and charge devices using a portable charging pack 
  • Turn off geolocation services on social media networks when away, and avoid posting photos taken on your travels until you return home

What If My Laptop Gets Stolen?

  • Contact the Department of Public Safety as well as the Help Desk.
  • File a police report in the jurisdiction the laptop was stolen.
  • There are programs that will report the location of a stolen laptop. Such programs for portable devices include Find My iPhone and LoJack.

Travel Resources