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Travel abroad

Aim: This page describes considerations and preparations before traveling abroad with electronic devices.

Target audience: Anyone who plans to travel abroad and bring an electronic device (laptop, mobile phone, tablet) with them.


When traveling to certain (non-EU) countries, the information on laptops or telephones can be inspected or copied by security agencies, or the authorities can install malware to take control of the device. This may happen when traveling to China, Russia, Iran, Turkey (article in Dutch) and the United States.


  • Bring an empty laptop and telephone, which you normally do not use. You can temporarily borrow a laptop via the Helpdesk. Ensure that the device is encrypted and access is only possible with a strong password.
  • Make sure there are no sensitive information or passwords on the telephone or laptop when traveling to these countries. The Helpdesk laptops are completely re-installed after each use.
  • Don't leave the devices unattended, also not in the safe in your hotel room.
  • Use a secure VPN connection when connecting to Nikhef services. Do not work around issues because of untrusted or non-matching certificates as this may lead to comprising the security of the VPN connection!