Protect your data

Electronic devices may be searched by local authorities, lost or stolen while traveling. Move Duke data stored on your device to a Duke server or use Duke’s free Box storage service ( to securely access your files while traveling.

Encrypt your electronic devices

For Duke-owned laptops, contact your departmental IT support for assistance with whole disk encryption (WDE) for Windows and Mac machines. If your Duke-owned machine is self administered see the whole disk encryption guidance. Refer to the Mobile Device Security Guide to enable encryption on iOS and Android mobile devices.  

Use the Duke Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Use the Duke VPN to secure your online access to files and services. 

Keep your browser secure

Use an up-to-date version of your default web browser (Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari). Use Qualys’ BrowserCheck to confirm your browser, plug-ins and system are patched. To limit eavesdropping on your browsing sessions, download and install HTTPS Everywhere (

Be wary of public kiosks or wireless networks

Whenever you access the Internet from an unsecured wireless network, you run the risk of eavesdropping or attempts to steal account or credit card information. Avoid using public kiosks or recharging stations whenever possible. Kiosks may automatically record your usernames and passwords. Also, keep your laptop and mobile devices with you at all times.

Enroll in eduroam

Enroll in Duke’s eduroam (education roaming) service to securely access the Internet using your Duke NetID and password when visiting other participating educational institutions ( eduroam (education roaming) is a secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community. Configure your computer for eduroam access while on the Duke campus, and be sure to test access before departing.

Understand the rules for traveling with Duke items/equipment

Export-controlled data or software may never be taken out of the country on any device. Visit Traveling with Duke Items/Equipment for more information.

Follow these tips if faced with inspection of technical devices

Duke offers some suggestions for those preparing to travel abroad who may encounter questions about their technical devices. See this checklist for additional information about international travel.

  • Don’t take data with you when you travel. Store your documents in Duke’s free Box service ( to access them securely while traveling.
  • Consider using a loaner or cheap “burner” device. Check with your departmental IT or OIT for loaner laptops. For personal travel, consider investing in a so-called travel device, a cheap smartphone or computer that you use only abroad. (The New York Times offers more tips.)
  • Log out of accounts before traveling such as email or cloud accounts (e.g. Box). Remove applications for social media and other accounts from your device prior to travel. Use Travel Mode in 1Password. 
  • Disable biometric devices such as fingerprint readers and set a strong PIN.
  • Encrypt your laptop or device. For Duke-owned laptops, contact your departmental IT support for assistance with whole disk encryption (WDE) for Windows and Mac machines. Refer to the Mobile Device Security Guide to enable encryption on iOS and Android mobile devices.
  • Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible. For Duke accounts, the DUO application and Yubikey allow secondary log-in passwords to be generated without having to be connected to the internet. MFA options exist for many other accounts like Google and Facebook.  Check Two Factor Auth for information on how to set these up.
  • Be cooperative with any requests. If you’re asked for your password, kindly ask if you can log in to the device or application yourself instead. If your device is taken to another room or connected to a device during the inspection, it’s safe to assume the data has been copied and you should make notes of the date, time and encounter. Contact and Global Administrative and Travel Support if you have a device detained.
  • If you have a bad experience involving travel, consider filing a complaint with the TSA: