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I travel with a laptop that contains copies of my important travel documents in digital form. These documents are in special password protected folders. But what happens if my laptop get’s stolen, or breaks down?
Sure you can keep certain documents with family, but what if you need copies of them right away? Timezone differences and work schedules may interfere with getting replacements in a timely fashion.
You need to have a few of your own backups, but you also must make sure they are secure.
Examples of Digital Documents:
- Copy of my Full Passport
- Visa/Passport Sized Photos
- Copy of Yellow Immunization Card
- Copy of Birth Certificate
- Copy of Social Security Card
- Passwords to Important Websites
- Medical History
- Travel Insurance Information
- Bank Accounts & Credit Card Information
As you can see, this is not the kind of stuff you want in the hands of thieves! So you should keep it ultra-secure. I backup this sensitive information in two different ways…
Bombproof USB Thumb Drive
I use a password protected USB drive with government level security. It’s called the Iron Key. This thing is fantastic. It’s made with high-end components, and will last 10 times longer than a typical USB drive. It has a tamper & waterproof case. After 10 failed password attempts, it automatically destroys all your data.
It also includes a special self-contained version of the Firefox Web browser. This lets you safely use an internet cafe computer anywhere in the world without worrying about the security of surfing the web on public computers. You’ll be browsing on your very own virus-free copy of Firefox.
When you download the LastPass Firefox Extension to keep track of all your passwords, you’ll also never have to manually type your passwords into a strange computer again. This protects against keyboard logger programs that can track everything you type.
I have the 4GB version of the Iron Key because I also use it to share photos, videos, and music with other travelers.
Secret Email Account
Another tactic I use to back up all my sensitive information is with a second, secret email account. I never use it for email, it’s only purpose is to store my digital information. I create password protected PDF or ZIP documents containing my files & information, then attach them to an email message that I send to myself using this account.
That way if someone happens to look over my shoulder to learn the login details for my regular email account, the personal information stored on my secret email account will remain safe & secure.
It may all seem a bit overkill, but planning for the unexpected gives me peace of mind. I really don’t want to become the example of a travel horror story. :)