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May 28, 2015

Technology Corner: Traveling overseas? Pack a loaner.


Among the University’s strategic priorities is extending our global reach. To do that, Pitt faculty, staff and students need to travel abroad.

And in today’s environment, where a wealth of professional information is regularly stored and managed via a smartphone or laptop, travel abroad is almost inevitably accompanied by technology devices. The CSSD security team has communicated the importance of securing those devices before you travel abroad. (See March 5 University Times.)

Now we can make that process easier for you.

We have established a technology loaner program for Pitt faculty and staff who are going abroad on University-related business. The program will launch officially on June 1.

CSSD’s technology loaner program will offer faculty and staff who have registered their international trips through the University Travel Registry the opportunity to borrow laptops, iPads and smartphones for up to 90 days at no charge.

We will have two kinds of laptops available: the Dell Latitude PC and the Apple MacBook Pro. Each comes with a travel kit that includes global power adapters, wireless mouse, car/plane charger for the Dell laptops, video adapters and a travel bag.

For faculty and staff who prefer to use a tablet when traveling, we will have the iPad Air 2. The travel kit for the iPad includes a global power adapter and a SlimFolio case. A more limited number of keyboards/cases also will be available.

Two kinds of smartphones will be available, the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5. Their travel kits include a global power adapter, phone case and car charger.

A limited data plan will be provided.

There is no cost to you or your department for this service. If the device is lost or damaged, however, or if there are overage charges for data use, your department will be charged.

Getting started

To borrow a device through the technology loaner program, you will need to complete a technology loaner program device request form once you’ve completed the University Travel Registry. This device request form must be submitted at least 10 working days before your planned departure date.

The travel registry is accessed through My Pitt (; it is included in the pull-down menu of My Resources, which can be found at the top of My Pitt. The travel registry will include a link to the device request form.

You can also see the device request form at

The form asks for basic information about your travel plans (departure and return dates) and technology needs (such as software). A core set of software automatically will be installed on the devices, including security software. If you need something else, please understand that we only can install software and applications whose licensing agreements include international use rights.

You’ll also be asked what equipment you want to borrow. There is a limited number of devices available, and the equipment will be loaned on a first-come, first-served basis.

You will need to include your departmental account number and the name and email address of your department administrator on the device request form.

It bears repeating:

Paranoia is your friend

You’ve heard it before from our security team, but it’s useful to be reminded that while you are traveling, you must assume that everything you do on tech devices is being monitored and potentially intercepted.

• If you do not need to go online, don’t.
• Do not use public Wi-Fi services or public charging stations.
• Do not store sensitive information (Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, patient information) on these devices while you’re traveling.
• Do not let the devices out of your sight.

When you return

You will need to return the borrowed device to CSSD within one week of returning to the United States. There are three important steps to take when you return.

• First, know that the device will be erased, and so you must transfer any data you want to keep before you return the device. We can help you remove data from the machine, if needed.
• Do not connect the borrowed laptop, iPad or smartphone to the wireless PittNet or any wired Pitt ports when you return to campus. You need to assume that it has been compromised, despite our best efforts to secure the device and your best efforts to keep it secure.
• Finally, you must change your Pitt computing account password as soon as you return.


For more information on the technology loaner program, go to I also am happy to answer any questions you have about the program. My email address is

If you have any questions or concerns while you are away, contact the Technology Help Desk (412-624-HELP [4357] or No need to worry about international time zones: The help desk is open 24/7.

Adam Hobaugh is the director of CSSD Support Services.