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Laptop Security Services for Traveling Faculty and Staff

Information Systems hopes that you have a meaningful and enjoyable experience during your travel abroad.  Part of making this a reality is protecting your computer and securing your data during your travel abroad.  If a device containing data is lost or stolen, the data on the device is at risk of exposure.  To protect you from this risk, Information Systems provides two options:


  • data may be encrypted on the ThinkPad; or

  • a ThinkPad may be rented from Information Systems with no data.


Please know that very stringent government regulations are in place regarding international travel with encrypted devices. These regulations vary from country to country.  In some cases, for example, it is illegal to enter or exit with encrypted data.  See Export Controls for specific details.


If you are traveling with a computer that has research data on it, make sure that you have completed the following items:

  1. Speak with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.  This office will guide you through the university expectations.

  2. Fill out the international travel forms that pertain to you and your travel..

  3. Meet with a representative of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to discuss the protection of your data.  During this meeting, discuss which of the following options would be the best for you and your data.


Option 1:


Faculty or staff member can travel abroad with encrypted data.


If you wish to choose this option, your computer will need to be encrypted.  Visit the help.wfu.edu page, Full Data Encryption, for answers to questions that you may have about encryption along with information about the encryption process.


An important part of this option will be ensuring that you have a recent backup of all of the data on your ThinkPad.  This will be helpful going forward in the event that the ThinkPad experiences hardware or software problems during the encryption process or during your travel abroad.  Visit the help.wfu.edu page, Backup Options, for options on backing up the data on the ThinkPad.  NOTE: If you need to purchase an external hard drive or a USB thumb drive for use in backing up your data, you may do so at The Bridge.


Contact the Information Systems Service Desk for assistance in preparing your ThinkPad for traveling abroad through the method of encryption.  


Option 2


Faculty or staff member cannot travel abroad with encrypted data and/or travel with their data


If you wish to choose this option, you can rent a computer from Information Systems.  The rental computer will be a T430s ThinkPad and will not contain your data.  The cost to rent a ThinkPad from Information Systems for use while traveling abroad is $10 per day or $40 per month (with a minimum of 3 months) and will be charged to your Wake Forest department.  When you return to Wake Forest University from your travels, you will be required to return the rented computer.  The Service Desk will assist you with retrieving any new data that was created on the rented computer. The computer will be re-imaged after it is returned for security purposes.


Please visit ResolveIT and provide the requested information to begin the process of renting a computer from Information Systems for traveling abroad.  Contact the Information Systems Service Desk for assistance.



Keywords: security, ThinkPad security, traveling abroad, security abroad

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