by Kevin Goldsmith

Created

October 11, 2005

I’ve been thinking lately about creating a secure, but accessible, digital store for my family’s important data.

I currently do all the sensible things: frequent backups, keeping backups in multiple locations, etc… but I was wondering what would happen if we were on vacation and my wallet got stolen.

There have been a lot of articles about this since the Katrina and Rita disasters. A common suggestion is to use a flash drive with a security mechanism. You could carry this drive around with you always. I thought that this was a good plan, but I was concerned that I would lose the flash drive or that it wouldn’t work on a linux PC running in an internet cafe somewhere.

Then I realized that there might be a better way.

Here is what I’m going to do:
I’m going to create a file with my account numbers, emergency contact info and anything else I might need to have if Mt Ranier blows or my wallet gets stolen in Prague. Then, I’ll encrypt and password protect it using PDF Security features. Rather than carrying it around with me, I can stash it on a secure non-linked place on my web server or in my internet mail account and be able to grab it from anywhere there is an internet connection onto any platform or device that supports PDF 5.0 (of which there are zillions).

This actually seems like the best plan, I’m surprised I didn’t think of it earlier.