Use of the University’s VPN abroad

If you are studying with or working for the University of Oxford outside the UK you should follow the Information Security Team’s guidance for securing information. This includes advice on using the University’s VPN which is a secure means to protect confidential communications over untrusted networks. VPN usage is prohibited or subject to restrictions in a number of countries, including China, Russia, Iraq and North Korea. Some countries also impose restrictions on the import and export of encrypted information.

Ensure that you know the IT security laws and practices in your home and host country, travel destinations and stop-over locations. Be aware that it's common for some governments to monitor and store Internet activity or copy data from your device without your consent. On entering and leaving a country, government authorities may request access to your electronic devices and account details. Please bear in mind that you should avoid using confidential information if it cannot be adequately protected.

The University does not maintain a list of the laws and practices of individual countries as they are subject to change and it is always best to check each country you are working or studying in. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides some guidance and you should take specialist advice if working in one of the higher-risk countries.