Travelling abroad – be particularly careful

Special care must be taken with mobile devices such as laptops or smartphones during trips abroad.
Please note the sometimes very high connection costs (roaming charges) and check the country-specific conditions before departure.


Furthermore, be very restrained and cautious if you use an internet café or a public WLAN, e.g. in a hotel or at the airport. Do not under any circumstances edit sensitive information on public devices or networks (this also applies to e-banking).

  1. Take only the devices (and information) that you really need.
  2. Ideally, do not take any sensitive information with you. If it is nevertheless absolutely necessary, encrypt it.
  3. Be careful with public WLANs and charging stations.
  4. Provide as little travel information as possible (e.g. booking details in social media or public calendars). It could be abused.
  5. Carry devices and data carriers in your hand luggage.

Further information

Why you should take only the equipment you need with you when you travel abroad? 

In order to prevent specific risks such as theft or loss of equipment when travelling abroad, it is recommended that you only take the equipment you really need with you. Keep in mind that hotel safes can be opened by hotel staff!

In some countries, the border authorities have the power to examine hard disks and possibly even retain them. When travelling to such countries, it is recommended that you do not carry data (in particular, valuable data) on the hard disk.  

  • Please also note the FDFA's travel advice:
    Travel advice explained in brief

  • Special provisions apply to persons travelling under diplomatic status. In particular with regard to the disclosure of information. Ask your office about the relevant regulations and possibilities.

What can travel information be misused for?

If entries for flight and hotel bookings are not marked as "private" in Outlook, all persons who have access to the calendar can view the relevant information and call up and change the booking with the details.


Why do you have to be careful with public charging stations and WLAN?

Quickly charge your smartphone on the go: in public places there are more and more USB ports for charging electronic devices. But connecting one's device without due care can have disastrous consequences. Defective or manipulated plugs can cause permanent damage to the device.

  • For example, if they do not supply the correct voltage: voltage which is too high can cause damage to the device. If normal sockets are also available (e.g. in trains), it is smarter to use your own charger. This ensures that the correct voltage is also used.

  • There is also danger from other sources: connected telephones could be infected with malware via manipulated USB ports.

In order to avoid this danger, a power bank can be inserted, i.e. a large battery with a charger for smartphones. Then you first charge the battery at the plug in question and then transfer the power from the battery to the smartphone.

The situation is similar with public WLANs (e.g. in hotels or train stations): the data (including that stored on the device) can be read and misused by unauthorised persons. Here it is recommended to connect the device directly to the internet (via the roaming option). 

Why are the devices to be carried in hand luggage?

That way you always have control over them. Remember that when you travel there is a higher risk of theft.

Expensive calls

Also keep in mind that there may be very high roaming charges (connection costs).



Specialist staff
Last modification 25.05.2023

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