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Suggestion Box Response: Securing electronic devices when traveling


Last week, one of our subscribers sent this to our suggestion box:

A few faculty and friends outside academia have shared with me unfortunate experiences involving the TSA stealing their electronic devices. Just this past week-end I forwarded to a few folks a YouTube video on how to prevent this from happening. However, you and your staff may more effective suggestions for ensuring the security of electronic devices in carry-ons, as well as checked-in baggage.

This video explains the issue our subscriber is describing.


  1. Don’t pack anything valuable in your checked in luggage. If you bring electronic devices, pack them in your carry-ons and double-check your bag after you go through screening.
  2. Put a passcode on each device.
  3. Back up all your electronic devices including cell phones before you travel. Consider backing up to the cloud.
  4. Make sure your antivirus, security patches, and firewall are enabled and up to date before you leave.
  5. For iDevices – setup iCloud and Find My iPhone; Android – activate Device Manager.
  6. Consider all free Wi-Fi to be unsecure.

Adapted from Additional resources available on YouTube.

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