Foreign Travel Guideline

The Foreign Travel Guideline gives information about what steps need to be taken when bringing an Iowa State work computer to another country and back for business purposes.


Foreign travel is all travel that does not include travel within the fifty (50) United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Travel Guidelines

Office of Research Integrity (ORI) best practices guidance and foreign restrictions:

Tips when traveling abroad:

  • Remove all information you will not need while abroad and keep it stored on an external HD at Iowa State (especially proprietary/confidential information).
  • Do not store sensitive data on any internal or external local media.
  • Leave any sensitive data stored securely on Iowa State servers. If you need to access the data, do so via secured Iowa State communications (i.e. VPN).
  • All information you send electronically by fax machine, computer, or mobile phone - can be intercepted, read, deleted and modified. Wireless devices are especially vulnerable.
  • Sanitize your mobile device to ensure no sensitive contact, research, or personal data is on it. If feasible, use a "clean" device, and a new email account while traveling.
  • Don't take information you don't need, including sensitive contact information. Consider the consequences if your information were stolen.
  • Change Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings so that they are non-discoverable. Do not connect to public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Don't leave electronic devices unattended.
  • Don't use USB flash drives given to you - they may be compromised.
  • If you absolutely have to use your USB flash drive in a foreign computer, assume you've been compromised; do not use that USB flash drive again - it is not a trusted device.
  • Don't open emails or attachments from unknown sources. Don't click on links in emails. Empty your "trash" and "recent" folders after every use.
  • Upon return to Iowa State, refrain from connecting to any networks and take the device to IT Services to detect any potential malware