Keep your data secure when traveling abroad. 


Review these guidelines 4 weeks before you travel as arrangements may be necessary. Consult your Local Support Provider (LSP) for specific information and recommendations related to your devices and Penn services.

  • International Calling Plan/wireless coverage: Depending on your planned usage, you can compare the usage rates among these three options: international plan, international roaming, or renting a device. 

  • International dialing codes: International calls require country codes which can be found on this website.

  • Power voltage varies between countries and may require power adapters for your electronic devices.

  • Remote access to Penn Systems and Services: Check with your LSP for requirements to access systems remotely.

  • Computer repair overseas: Check the warranty status of your computer as warranties provide access to support services including repairs or technical support.

For more information contact:
ISC Information Security
Phone: +1-215-898-2171

Safeguarding Data

International travel introduces new risks to your data and devices. Below are a few key tips to keep you safe while going global. We encourage you to also consult Penn’s Information Systems and Computing (ISC) and the One Step Ahead: Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers websites.

General Security Information  

Highly Sensitive Data/High Risk Destinations

  • Take a full backup of your data before you travel and leave it on campus.

  • Apply recommended updates and security patches before your travel

  • Avoid taking sensitive data. Consult with your LSP about tools to scan your system for sensitive materials.

  • Encrypt data if it is essential that you take it with you. (NOTE: Encryption technology is subject to export controls. Users intending to travel to Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Iran or Iraq should contact Penn’s Office of Research Service for assistance in determining whether an export license is required.)

  • Be careful about proprietary, patentable, or sensitive information stored on your device as some countries may inspect devices upon entry.

  • Be sensitive to local privacy laws. Contact the Office of Audit, Compliance and Privacy for advice regarding the applicability of international privacy regulations.

  • Select WiFi connections that encrypt traffic, are restricted with a password and are provided by a trusted source (University, colleague, hotel, etc.) whenever possible. Use encrypted services whenever in doubt (e.g., HTTPS over HTTP) when web-browsing.

  • Avoid accessing sensitive websites from public computers, such as at Internet cafés, as their security is highly unreliable.

  • Keep mobile devices on your person or in a locked safe whenever possible. If your device is stolen, notify your LSP immediately. See Penn’s Top 10 Security Tips

Information Technology

Consult with your LSP if you require IT services or facilities beyond support for personal devices and connectivity.

  • If you have reliable Internet services overseas, it may be more cost effective to leverage services hosted at Penn.

  • If you need IT infrastructure or facilities on site at your location, consult with IT staff familiar with your work who can translate your functional needs into specific technical requirements.

  • If you are affiliated with an organization while you’re overseas, the organization may be able to provide the IT services or facilities you need.

Access to knowledgeable IT support is essential. Penn staff may be able to provide support with reliable Internet service and/or you can bring a Penn staff for on-site support. 

Additional Links & Resources