Resources on Electronic Devices and the Appropriate Use of Technology (PDAD&C #91)

From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Scott Mabury, Vice-President, University Operations and Vice-Provost, Academic Operations
Date: April 12, 2017
Re: Resources on Electronic Devices and the Appropriate Use of Technology (PDAD& #91)

Our offices have experienced an increase in the number of inquiries from faculty and staff regarding security of electronic devices and data, particularly in light of the announcement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 21, 2017 regarding security enhancements prohibiting certain electronic devices from being carried aboard aircraft originating from specific countries.

When working away from any of the University of Toronto campuses, please continue to follow the security requirements for confidential information as posted on the University’s Security Matters website. All information that is not officially designated as public is confidential, including information about identifiable individuals, student records, grades, human resources records, and non-public financial information.

Before you travel outside of Canada, please work with your local IT services to:

  • Ensure that U of T VPN software is installed on your devices and is properly configured.
  • Use encrypted memory sticks to safeguard against data exposure if lost or confiscated.
  • Ensure that your laptop computer is encrypted.

If you choose to provide your device password(s) to a border agent of a country you are entering, we recommend that you change the password as soon as the device is returned to you. Further information regarding travel to the United States can be found online. Questions regarding electronic devices and data security, including the use of temporary phones or wiping iPads and other devices for travel, can be directed to your local IT support teams.

We would also like to remind the community of the University’s Policy on Information Security and the Protection of Digital Assets, the guidelines on Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology and the ITS Information Security Guidelines, both of which provide information that can be used to inform overall decisions around what information should be stored on electronic devices and how to keep data secure. If you have any questions about these guidelines, please contact