Keep Your Files Secure!
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, God forbid, 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 your 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…
Secure Encrypted Flash Drive
I use a password protected USB drive with hardware encryption and password protection for a double layer of data security. The drive locks down and reformats after 10 failed login attempts, so you can rest assured your data is safe even if the drive is lost or stolen. This USB drive is amazing for the price.and does everything you need it to. Sure, you can get government level security USB devices like the Iron Key which I was using and highly recommend… But for most people the Kingston 16GB Data Traveler Locker is all they will need at a fraction of the price.
The Data Traveler also offers a cloud backup feature which I find very useful. You can automatically back up data from your Data Traveler to Google Drive, OneDrive (Microsoft), Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox or Box. So if the drive is lost or stolen, you still have access to other copies. The Drive also uses USB 3.0 so it is fast!
It works on both Windows and Macs so you can access files from multiple systems, without installing a program on every computer used. It also has a durable metal casing for added protection from drops, bumps and knocks.
I use the 16 GB version which has plenty of storage room for all my files, photos and a few videos.
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. 🙂