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Northwestern University

Summer Prep Checklist and Traveling Abroad

As campus preps for final exams and graduation, it’s also time to plan for summer quarter. What kinds of travel, work or research will you be doing this summer? Do you know how to access systems from off-campus or how to keep your data secure abroad? In addition to our annual prep checklist, this year we’ve gathered additional tips for traveling abroad.

Summer Prep Checklist
  Purchase a new computer at least three weeks before quarter-end Turn-around time for ordering a computer to deployment is a minimum of two weeks. If you need a new computer before leaving town this summer, start the purchase process as soon as possible.

  Run all updates to systems and applications while connected to the Northwestern network

Leaving campus fully updated ensures you have the latest performance and security fixes. We'll continue to provide updates throughout the summer via our systems management tools (KACE and JAMF). 

  Back-up data in Box and Crashplan

Make sure you have copies of your important documents in Box and that your computer is backing up to CrashPlan. If you will be doing research in a location without internet access, bring an external hard drive or USB drive to use as a secondary back-up. Once you are back on campus, back-up those external drives on Box.

  Contact us to encrypt your computer

Encryption means that if your computer is lost or stolen, others can't get access to the files or information on your computer. If you had a new computer imaged by us from April 2018 and onward, it was encrypted at that time. If your computer is older, email to have us encrypt your computer.

  Set up an alternative phone number for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Without MFA, you will not be able to access many essential University systems, including NUFinancials, InfoEd, CATracks, Cognos BI, myHR Self Service, and Self-Service CAESAR. Get more information and access guides to managing your registered phones here and download the Duo App.

  Configure your VPN


A Virtual Private Network establishes a secure connection to the Northwestern network. It is required to access Kronos, NUFinancials, and remote desktop access. Get instructions on how to set up your VPN.

  Choose Eduroam while traveling

When traveling for educational purposes, choose the Eduroam network at participating institutions. Students, staff, and faculty can use their NetID credentials to access wireless at other Eduroam institutions. View this interactive map to see if eduroam is available at your next destination.

Traveling Abroad

International collaboration and research are essential parts of the College’s activities. We work in a complex world with shifting policies and directives, which affect the security of your hardware and data. When planning your travel abroad throughout the year, your guiding principle should be -

If a device or document isn’t required for your trip, leave it at home.

Know what to do when things go wrong.

Call 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) or email if you suspect you have been phished or your device has been compromised.   

Check your destination on the US Department of State website for safety and security information. Northwestern IT also has additional security trips for traveling.

Once you return

❑ Change your NetID password and any other accounts you used while traveling.

❑ If you checked voicemail while traveling, change your voicemail passcode.

❑ Wipe or reformat devices as soon as possible. Contact if you need help with this process.

  If you used a pre-paid cellphone, remove the SIM card and crush it or break it in half and recycle the phone.

Contact if you would like to discuss your data or device security plans while traveling this summer. We wish you smooth travels and exciting discoveries over the summer quarter.




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