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CONTACT US

Stockton Helpdesk
209-946-7400
helpdesk@pacific.edu
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Mon - Fri


CONTACT US

Sacramento Helpdesk
916-739-7325
_helpdesk@pacific.edu
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Mon - Fri


CONTACT US

San Francisco Helpdesk
415-929-6514
pchelp@pacific.edu
Support Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Night Clinic Support Hours: 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday and Thursday

CONTACT US

Business Office
209-946-7371
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Mon - Fri


International Travel

What to do if you plan to travel internationally

International travelers should aim to "travel light", i.e., limit the amount of sensitive information that is stored on or accessible to any mobile device taken on the trip, and travelers should avoid contact with the Pacific network in general, specifically when traveling to high risk countries (see US government's warnings ). Traveling internationally can pose significant risks to information stored on or accessible through the computers, tablets and smartphones that we take with us.  Some of the risk is associated with increased opportunities for the loss or theft of the device due to the increased amount of direct physical handling of the equipment by individuals, and just merely the distraction of traveling. Additionally, our devices are put at risk because they will use networks that may be managed by entities that monitor and capture network traffic for competitive or malicious purposes.

Travel Guidelines

Preparing for your trip

Identify "high risk" countries you plan to visit

Visit the U.S. State Department's "Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts" page.

Understand the sensitivity of any data you bring or access

Assess the sensitivity of the information that you are considering taking on your trip, and seek ways to limit the amount of sensitive information that you take with you.  Examples of data that should be left on campus or afforded exceptional protection include information that might be considered sensitive by the host government, and information defined as confidential or highly confidential by the University's Information Security Policy. Removing unnecessary confidential data from any device that you bring with you reduces the risk of exposure to anyone gaining access to the device.

How to request loaner devices

Additional information regarding the University's loaner program and how you can obtain a loner device can be found here. If you would like to obtain a loaner device, your local TSP or the HelpDesk (67400) can assist you through the process. 

Consider using an alternate email during the trip

The loaner program will provide a temporary email account for your trip. Your emails will be forwarded to the temporary account only for the duration of the trip. This account helps protect your information and Pacific's systems because you will not directly be accessing Pacific with your ID and password. At the end of your travels, the temporary email account will be deleted.

Contemplate taking a loaner device

The HelpDesk can provide staff and faculty with loaner devices, allowing you to leave your computer and other mobile devices at home. These loaner devices will be configured to allow you to get work done while traveling. Also, loaner devices limit the amount of data you have which minimizes the risk to the University should the device be stolen or lost.

Follow guidelines for protecting your devices and data

Review and follow the best practices listed on our Safe Computing page. Understanding and following these practices will help you reduce the risk to the data and devices you are carrying or have access to in your travels. 

Learn about hardware and software travel restrictions

Knowing the restrictions that countries place on transported hardware and/or software reduces the likelihood of your devices being confiscated or your trip being disrupted. Contact the Security Office for more legal and technology-related information for the international traveler. In the hardware and software realm, export and import controls may apply to the hardware and software you may bring along with you. The United States restricts the transporting of certain types of hardware and software products to specific countries (referred to as "export controls").  Many other nations restrict the transporting of certain types of hardware or software into their country (referred to as "import controls").
Note - There are countries into which we cannot bring an encrypted device either due to United States export restrictions or import restrictions imposed by the destination country. Click here for more detailed information about the international export/import of encryption technology.

Things to remember while traveling

  • Avoid accessing the University directly with your PacificNet ID and password. By not logging into Pacific applications while you travel, you eliminate the risk of your PacificNet ID being captured and used to compromise Pacific systems. You also reduce the amount of data that is retrievable if your mobile device is lost, stolen or otherwise compromised. Therefore, keep your direct access to Pacific systems and information to an absolute minimum, preferably zero.
    Note - Using Remote Desktop or equivalent software to access your University desktop or other device from a high risk country should also be avoided as these transmissions may also expose valuable information.
  • Avoid using public workstations. The security of public workstations, especially in high risk countries, cannot be trusted.  When you use a public workstation, anything that you enter into the system - IDs, passwords, data - may be captured and used, so limit your activity to activity to the devices that you bring.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when logging in or inputting data into your devices. There have been many cases where an ID, password or piece of confidential information had been compromised simply by watching the person input the information. Be discrete when inputting your ID and passwords.
  • Notify Pacific if a theft or loss occurs. Traveling can be fraught with a variety of distractions - going through airport security, finding your way around town, getting used to cultural norms, etc..  Unfortunately, most instances when mobile computing devices are lost or stolen occur in the areas where the distractions are the greatest.  Recognizing distracting situations and, when they occur, taking extra care to maintain your focus can prevent you from having to take the steps necessary to disable those devices and obtain replacements.
  • In case a laptop or mobile device is lost or stolen, contact your local TSP or the HelpDesk at 209-946-7400.

When you return

  • Change any passwords you may have used during your travels. When you return from your trip, change any passwords you may have used during your travels from a trusted device.  When traveling, especially in high risk countries, the likelihood that your ID and password will be captured is high.  Quickly changing a compromised password helps prevent future attacks on that account.
  • Restore the software on the systems with which you traveled to trusted versions. According to  national security services, when our devices connect to a network in a high risk country, there is a high likelihood that the device will be compromised and have malicious software installed. This software then can compromise information and other devices on the Pacific network when the device is reconnected to the University's network. Upon your return before reconnecting to the Pacific network, erase and wipe the hard drive and other components that store data and software for any device you used during your travels and reimage them with trusted software versions. This is standard practice for loaner devices, and should also be for your Pacific-owned or personally-owned devices. Contact the HelpDesk for assistance at helpdesk@pacific.edu.

Assumptions When Traveling

  • No device can be protected against all possible forms of system and information compromise, especially when its members travel to countries that are deemed as high risk.  So, we must assume that any device taken to a high risk country will be compromised in some, potentially undetectable way.  The only truly secure option is to refrain from using digital devices when traveling.
  • Information of particular interest to someone intent on compromising your devices not only includes business data but also the traveler's ID and password that could be used to directly access Pacific's systems and information resources.
  • When a device is compromised, the attacker may install software on the device that could compromise other systems and data on the Pacific network when the traveler reconnects his or her device our network upon return, unless measures are taken to completely restore the device to its pristine state before the network connection is established.

Pacific Technology is working with members of our campus community and our colleagues at other institutions of higher education, and is reviewing security advisories from the United States government, to develop recommendations for protecting systems and information when traveling.

Additional resources

The U.S. Department of State's "Before You Go" website
Allows a user to specify his or her destination country for which it provides information such as, the location of the U.S. embassy and any consular offices; whether you need a visa; crime and security information; health and medical conditions; drug penalties; and localized hot spots.
The FBI's Travel Tips brochure
Measures that the FBI recommends taking before, during and after traveling internationally in a compact, printable document.
US CERT's Holiday Traveling with Personal Internet-Enabled Devices website
Tips from the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team for protecting your mobile devices when traveling
Internet 2's Security Tips for Traveling Abroad website
A collection of institutional, governmental and other resources that provide guidelines for secure, international travel.