As you prepare to travel internationally, the guidelines on this page will help to ensure that your devices and data are protected.

Items listed as required must be completed in order to provide successful access to BGSU accounts, data and applications while you are traveling. Items listed as recommended will help to provide extra security to your accounts and data while traveling.

It is highly recommended that travelers to high risk countries contact Information Technology Services at 419-372-0999 several weeks in advance of their trip to obtain a clean laptop for travel, and that they leave behind all other devices.

Before Your Trip

BGSU utilizes Duo Two Factor Authentication to help protect sensitive data. You must authenticate using Duo in order to access the BGSU VPN/Pulse Secure, the MyBGSU portal, BGSU email, Canvas and more. When traveling outside the US, you may be unable to access your BGSU accounts due to restrictions placed on the Duo mobile app or tokens by the United States Government Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). Such restrictions are outlined in the Sanctions Program and Country Information list.  Please review this list prior to your travel.

ITS has Two Factor Authentication tokens available for loan to use as your primary authentication device when traveling internationally. Two Factor tokens eliminate the need to rely on a mobile device while outside of the United States. To obtain a loaner token, please contact the ITS Service Desk.   

Does Duo Mobile work in China? Read the article.

Research the country you are traveling to and see if they have sanctions or local laws that affect your BGSU access.  

In order to access the BGSU network while traveling abroad, you will need to connect to the BGSU VPN/Pulse Secure from a university-owned device. BGSU VPN provides secure access to applications on the BGSU network, such as Time & Labor (employee timesheet), BGSU network file shares (R drive), PeopleSoft, remote desktop and some licensed software.

BGSU faculty/staff are automatically provided VPN account access. 

Learn More About BGSU VPN/Pulse Secure

Setup Duo Two Factor Authentication on all of your devices.  

Contact ITS to verify that you have a secure backup of your data so that it can be recovered in the event that your device becomes lost, stolen or compromised while traveling.

When traveling abroad it is important to take the minimum needed in order to get your work done. Use the links below to determine what to bring and what NOT to bring on your trip.

Verify your anti-virus software is up to date and then run a full scan of your devices to validate that they are free of malicious software (malware) prior to traveling. For assistance, contact ITS.

Register your international travel with International Programs & Partnerships. Those registering through the International Travel Registry (ITR) have access to the International Travel Services and Insurance Program through the University’s United Health Plan.

International Travel Registry

During Your Trip

Review our Knowledge Base article to ensure you are familiar with using Duo Two Factor Authentication while your device is offline.

Only use secure internet connections. Cellular carriers' networks are the best choice in terms of security.

  • Don't use free wireless connections.
  • Don't use public computers to access or enter sensitive data.
  • Expect that any computer network you use while traveling may be insecure. This includes networks you may use while staying with friends and family, attending a conference/other business trip or visiting cyber-cafes, libraries or hotels. 
  • Turn off wireless and bluetooth on your devices while you are not using them.
  • Don't download/install software updates on hotel internet connections or public Wi-Fi.  For more information on this topic, review this FBI advisory.
  • Understand that any government can log your activity or copy data from your computer without your knowledge or consent.

If your device is lost or stolen, contact ITS immediately to report the incident and promptly change your password(s). It is also important to report the incident to the local authorities and to request a copy of the report.

  • Keep your devices with you at all times or secured in hotel safe.
  • Don't travel with obvious laptop bags.

When you open your browser, switch to a new private browsing tab/window.

Learn More About Private Browsing

These can be used to transfer malware to your device or retrieve data from it.  The safest option is to find an outlet and use your own charger.

Do not use USB storage devices or any other kind of removable media that you receive or find while on your trip.  These devices can be used to gain access to your system.

If you will not be using your device for an extended period of time, power it off.

After Your Trip

Hackers are more interested in the sensitive data you have access to at the University than the data you carried with you on your trip.  Please review the steps below to prevent any breaches in security due to your device being compromised.

There are currently no required actions you must take when returning from your trip. However, ITS highly recommends that you complete the actions listed under Recommended to ensure that your device and data remain safe.

Change your BGSU password ASAP.  This will prevent anyone who might have hacked into your computer from gaining access to the BGSU network.

Before connecting to the BGSU network, run the same malware and anti-virus program you used before your trip.  If infections are detected, take the recommended steps to clean up the device.

Updated: 06/27/2023 01:18PM