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Ask Slashdot: How To Back Up Physical Data? 245

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-sync-your-stone-carvings-over-dropbox dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After many years I now have a backup of all my digital data in (at least) two physical locations. But what do people recommend to back up my physical data? And then how to prove my identity? I call it the 'gas leak problem,' because a gas leak in my town caused an explosion that leveled a house. If it had been my house, it would have destroyed all my paperwork that proves who I am. If I'd come home from work and found my house was now a pile of rubble, how would I prove I lived there, knowing my key no longer fits the smoldering lock? If I'd left my wallet at home, my bank cards would have been destroyed so I couldn't withdraw money or book into a hotel. Or if I'd left my phone at the office, I wouldn't know anyone's number to call, or get anyone to vouch for me. What preventative steps can you take? Since having this nightmare, I've exported my phone's VCF file to an online repo, made online notes of all my bank account numbers and passport ID, I keep ICE numbers with me at all times (separate from phone/wallet), and I've hidden a spare mobile phone and house key in a box in a nearby field. But there must be more to do!"
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Ask Slashdot: How To Back Up Physical Data?

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  • Well.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Zembar (803935) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:14AM (#46876399)

    You could start working from home, because then proving your identity will be the coroner's problem, not yours.

    • He mentioned ICE papers. Do you want *your* tax dollars paying for the disposal of some unidentifiable foreigner's charred remains?
      • by godefroi (52421)

        Yes, because it's better than leaving said charred remains to rot. Charred remains smell bad, foreign or not.

  • Overly Paranoid (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:19AM (#46876415)

    When they issue a photo I.D. for someone the state also keeps a record. The same goes for Passports(federal), they want your picture in a database.

    Loosing credentials happens to travelers in foreign countries all the time. You go the embassy and request new credentials.

    • by sjames (1099)

      HaHaHaHaHa.

      Then why does the DMV insist you need to prove your ID before they will issue a replacement ID. They will, of course, want your SS card. Hope you didn't lose that too, because SSA wants your picture ID to replace your SS card.

      • by peragrin (659227)

        that's just it you should at least have your drivers license on you at all times anyways. oh sure in most states you have 24 hours to produce your license to cops if you get stopped, however if you don't have it you have no chance in hell of talking your way out of the ticket.

        • So, what happens if your wallet gets stolen with your driver's license and SS card? Or, if you don't carry the SS in your wallet, you have a burglary and get your wallet (with DL) snatched before you get around to replacing the SS?

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          A friend of mine keeps a photocopy of it in his glovebox and leaves the original in his safe deposit box. Kooky, but he claims to have never had a serious problem.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Then why does the DMV insist you need to prove your ID before they will issue a replacement ID. They will, of course, want your SS card. Hope you didn't lose that too, because SSA wants your picture ID to replace your SS card.

        Look, this is very simple and you're making it more complicated than it really is. You keep an official copy of your birth certificate in your safety deposit box, perhaps the original on the assumption that it's safer there than in your house. You can get a duplicate social security card before you even need it, and put that in there as well. Neither of these things ever expires. If you want to save yourself some money, get two copies of each thing and stash them with someone you trust more than a bank. Who

        • by rioki (1328185)

          My father had this sort of. While visiting his mother in California, his bag was stolen while at the beach and this included his passport and wallet. The result was he had absolutely no ID whatsoever. The solution to the problem was to get two people that where related to him, with ID to swear he was how he claimed to be. End of story, yes it was a huge hassle, but in the end it worked out.

        • by azadrozny (576352)

          I agree, there is way too much over thinking going on here. Many states will issue second birth certificates. I ordered duplicates when my children were born. I now keep one copy at home in a fire resistant box, and the second in a safe deposit box. An insurance rep. recommended to me that you keep your fire resistant box next to something large, like a washing machine, the reason being that large steal items will be easier to locate, especially if the structure around it were to collapse. This would h

        • You keep an official copy of your birth certificate in your safety deposit box,..

          A birth certificate is not a proof of identity. It is just a proof that someone with that name is born on that date. It doesn't tell that the person holding it is that person. And it is quite easy to get a duplicate birth certificate. In France you can ask for it by mail.

          The only way to prove your identity is to bring to the police office two identified (with a document) persons to testimony that you are who you pretend. Of course false testimony is punished by law. This will allow you to get a new id docum

          • by eudaemon (320983)
            And yet when I applied for my US passport I had to supply my birth certificate. *shrug* I'm sure the passport office does thorough checks, but getting the birth certificate also required I prove my identity so perhaps they're relying on the idea that you shouldn't have a particular American birth certificate without going through a check of some kind.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Requesting a replacement Social Security card does not explicitly *require* photo identification. All they ask for is "evidence of identity" [ssa.gov] and specifically mention scenarios where you may lack government-issued photo ID (ex. license, state-issued ID card, or passport). The government-issued photo ID just makes the process quicker/easier for them, that's all, else you're asked to provide alternate forms of identification: military record, certificate of naturalisation or certificate of birth, employee ID

        • by rjune (123157)

          Why didn't you just apply for a State of California ID? The card can be used for identification in place of drivers license. http://dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.h... [ca.gov]
          If your friend was willing to vouch for you at the post office surely he could have driven you to a DMV office.

          • by dolmen.fr (583400)

            If your friend was willing to vouch for you at the post office surely he could have driven you to a DMV office.

            He didn't say his friend had a driving licence and a car. Besides that, his health may not allow him to go away from his home for a long time (or other reasons).

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Which is stupid as hell, a SS card is trivial to fake, utterly trivial. I never carry mine, I memorize the number and that is all I am willing to give up, NOBODY get's my SS card as an "ID" mine is old enough to say, "illegal to use as identification" the DMV can look up my name and look at the photo on the screen, I have pushed the issue at the DMV before for a replacement license. I forced the lady to get her supervisor, and I asked, can you see my photo on your screen? "yes" do you want to pull o

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        My wallet was stolen at the Y several years ago (which got me to stop working out). Getting the license replaced was easier than getting my library card replaced. All the DMV needed was two pieces of mail. Perhaps you need a better Secretary of State where you live?

        When I retired, my employer needed a copy of my birth certificate. I was able to order a copy over the internet, no paper required. All I needed was to know stuff I would know if I was really me.

        As to the submission, how in the hell did it get po

    • by RJFerret (1279530)

      Yes, there are procedures in place since this happens occasionally.

      If you want to invest in something, get a fireproof safe. You don't even need to lock it (since the odds of a break-in are generally lower than fire). But former tax records may be obtained from the IRS, former bank statements from the credit union, birth certificate copies from town halls, etc. The only tricky one is receipts spent on capital gains to your real estate, since municipal government only documents original purchase price, an

  • by SeaFox (739806) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:26AM (#46876443)

    If it had been my house, it would have destroyed all my paperwork that proves who I am.

    There's this marvelous service called a safe deposit box that banks offer...

    • by msauve (701917) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @07:45AM (#46877027)

      There's this marvelous service called a safe deposit box that banks offer...

      Your bank lets people into safe deposit boxes without showing any ID?

    • Have you tried getting a safe deposit box these days? Not sure about the US, but in the UK its near to impossible - banks are dumping the business as fast as they can.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Or a real fire safe. I have one, 16 hour DATA rated which is higher than needed for paper. it's also waterproof, but I dont know if that waterproofing is still intact after 16 hours in a fire, so all the documents are in sealed TyVEK envelopes just in case.

      • At first I was going to remark, "What, do you expect your house to flood after it burns down?"

        Then I thought about what they put fires out with.

    • by pla (258480)
      There's this marvelous service called a safe deposit box that banks offer...

      Or your parents/kids/trusted friend's house, for alternatives that don't cost a monthly fee. Plenty of offsite options.

      I honestly don't quite understand the problem from TFS - You can get duplicate social security cards and birth certificates trivially; I have about a dozen photo IDs from over the years, some on the older side but barring a facially-disfiguring disaster, I still look sufficiently like "me".

      Keep a duplicate S
    • by telchine (719345)

      There's this marvelous service called a safe deposit box that banks offer...

      In the UK at least, banks very rarely offer safety deposit boxes any more:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/busi... [bbc.co.uk]

  • papers, please (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    all my paperwork that proves who I am

    If you live in a society that requires papers to prove who you are, you have a bigger problem.

    Back in the 1960s, we had a saying. "I am not a number, I am a free man!" Apparently the popular saying in the 2010s is, "How may I obey today?"

    Hint: you are the problem.

    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      I don't mind being a number. I have several. :) You're never really free, unless you can be sure you can *always* travel unmolested. ... unless you want to get molested, but that's another conversation entirely.

    • by gtall (79522)

      Guy: Hi. I'm a long lost relative of yours from the Olde Country. Our parents had a bet and promised their kids would pay up. You owe me $1000.

      You: I don't know you from Adam. How do I know you are who you say you are.

      Guy: I'm me, can't you see? Are you blind? Now fork over the moolah before I get medieval on your ass.

      You: Uh....okay, here's the $1000. Please come back if you need more.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Me: Lets see if you can take it from me, bring it little girl!

        Too many people roll over at the slightest threat of violence. IF someone threatens you, that is your invitation to go nuclear. and i mean nuclear... Step 1 rip their ears off, it's really easy to do, 90% of the big bad guys will freak out badly and run away. the 10% that dont are what you really worry about.

  • First, backing up your physical data: Digitize it. That way you reduced the problem to one that you know a solution for.

    Second: Go get that key from the field. Security by obscurity doesn't work. You can leave the cellphone, but I'd advise erasing the numbers in case any have been stored.

    Third: Rent a storage box at a bank. Make it so you can access it by signature and password, fingerprint if your bank offers that service (and if not, shop around, banks have started offering such a service). Put everything

    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      A key buried far away from the lock to which it goes is probably perfectly safe. It is, however, ridiculous, but I wouldn't trot out "security through obscurity" for it. However, numbers in the cell phone would likely be able to tie the key to a lock, and that's the most glaring vulnerability right there. (Also the stupidest part of the plan).

      Additionally: since the fact that the key exists has been announced, security through obscurity isn't really applicable. To wit: I know you have an account, and I k

    • by DZign (200479)

      http://www.theplacewithnoname.... [theplacewithnoname.com]

      Digitize it, put it on an encrypted usb stick you have always with you.. on that sites are lists of what all to include.

    • by Ksevio (865461)

      Go get that key from the field. Security by obscurity doesn't work

      You're suggesting that a potential home thief would scour the surrounding quarter mile and prod the ground looking for a box? You must have very dedicated thieves in your area! Seems it would be easier to break a window.

      Regardless, security through obscurity DOES work. It's not perfect, but it's going to stop 99.9% of the attackers (or more in this case), which is a lot better than 0%.

  • by StoneCrusher (717949) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:31AM (#46876467)
    Surely there is one person in your street or at work that you can ask to crash on a couch for a night. Not every problem is solved by the cloud. Human interaction will get you a long way.

    FYI: Banks, courts, and the Government issued ID have processes for people who have lost everything. It generally involves someone signing a document that vouches for your identity. It's not a big deal. If you really want to speed the process, a couple of scans of your documents emailed to yourself will help them simply look up a record and reprint the documents.

    Also for the hotel problem. If you really don't have a neighbour that would let you spend the night (just what did you do to them?) the fire department and police department have contacts of places you can stay and worry about the bill later.

    TLDR; You live in a society, when your house blows up, it is time to redeem your credit. Relax.
    • by Culture20 (968837)
      In the feared case of gas leak explosion, the entire street becomes unlivable. Houses next door will be destroyed. Houses further out will be shifted off their foundations and fire departments will not let anyone enter. All the houses in the neighborhood will have broken windows.
      • by jittles (1613415)

        In the feared case of gas leak explosion, the entire street becomes unlivable. Houses next door will be destroyed. Houses further out will be shifted off their foundations and fire departments will not let anyone enter. All the houses in the neighborhood will have broken windows.

        I don't know about you, but I think I have at least a few friends who would let me show up randomly after work and sleep on their couch if my place had just been destroyed in an explosion. So it doesn't have to be a neighbor either!

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      For a place to crash it is called friends and or family. Honestly you will probably be shocked how many people will help. Unless you are a friendless jerk that is.
      Also the Red Cross helps people that have lost everything in home fires all the time.
      You really seem worried about something that is just not likely to happen. The spare mobile phone buried in a field seems really odd. How do you keep it charged? Overall the odds of this happening are far less than the odds of you dropping dead from a massive hear

    • *troll mode*

      He's a libertarian and a capitalist. There are no such things as friends, only adversaries and customers. The government is presumed to be utterly ineffectual, such that all the data they have on him is inaccessible for his use. His business contacts know him only though electronic communications because he never sees them in person. Why would he? They're just adversaries or customers, neither of which he has any use for personally. The only personal contact he has is for sex, and that's with pr

  • Periodic copying, on a copier/xerox, of the contents of your wallet works well. Make sure you copy both sides of credit cards and such, as they have numbers to call for cancellation or replacement. You could even simply scan the contents, then encrypt and store it somewhere.

    For contacts, calendar, cellphones: Google works well for contacts, but you can use any caldav application. This handles your "physical" rolodex. And if your phone is destroyed, you can restore the contacts to a new phone.

    You don't need

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Periodic copying, on a copier/xerox, of the contents of your wallet works well. Make sure you copy both sides of credit cards and such, as they have numbers to call for cancellation or replacement. You could even simply scan the contents, then encrypt and store it somewhere.

      What is this "copier/xerox/scanner" you speak of? Are you also going to telefax the copy you made to the secure location?

      The correct method is to place the document on a wooden table and photograph it with your cellphone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:42AM (#46876513)

    If I'd come home from work and found my house was now a pile of rubble, how would I prove I lived there

    Oddly enough I had a conversation with my parents a week or two where they said they'd paid off all but £100 of their mortgage years ago. I asked why they hadn't done the the last bit, and they said there was an arrangement with the bank: you keep £100 on the mortgage indefinitely, pay interest on that and in return they keep all of the deeds and other paperwork related to the house in a safe, off-site location. As long as you have photo ID and a bank card to prove you're their customer (you carry your driving license and bank card around, right?) you can then still get hold of the deeds no matter what happens to your house.

    My Dad also gets a bit paranoid about this sort of thing, so when they travel they make up a "disaster kit": copies of all important data and documents, contacts, etc. on a USB drive and given to one of us kids.

    Like others have said, off-site storage if you're paranoid.

    • by RandomFactor (22447) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @06:48AM (#46876759)
      And in return they retain a lean on the property. I'm not sure how but I suspect that every now and then this works out in the bank's favor dramatically somehow...
      • Yeah, a lean on the property in exchange for a safety deposit box doesn't sound like such a deal to me either. A box that you're still paying for in fact.

      • I wonder what happens if they stop making the mortgage payments on that £100 debt.
    • All my experience with a friendly bank calling you up to help you, turns out poorly...

    • By paying off my mortgage the bank did me the favor of sending a letter to the county records office showing that they disclaim their lien on the title for my home.

      Given this records office has deeds and records going back to 1637, and physical copies in a second location I am fairly confident of their ability to maintain this information without loss. I also have a backup copy in my personal records.

      I would definitely prefer to have no liens on my property and rely on long standing government institutions

  • by nospam007 (722110) * on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:44AM (#46876519)

    If the lock is smoldering that doesn't matter. Your house is a pile of rubble, you can get into that from 5 directions.

    You need a weapons cache in a different field, fake IDs in another one, foreign money in still a different one, a few other houses in different locations, summer homes in different countries.
    A numbered account in Switzerland an the Caiman's, you can store paper copies in your planes and yachts.
    Hide a tele-operated submarine with copies and money somewhere an install a hidden fortress in the arctic.

    That should do it.

    Or just store copies of your personal papers at a friend's.

    • That seems like a lot of bother.

      All you need is your important stuff in a pocket dimension which you access with your bag of holding and portal ring. You can escape by jumping in the pocket dimension and finding an exit in another location.

    • by CRCulver (715279)

      Or just store copies of your personal papers at a friend's.

      I'm not sure this is advisable, considering how many stories circulate about storing a box at a friend's, only for it to be e.g. damaged by flooding (possibly after your friend moved it from the safe place you agreed to the flood-prone place, "Whoops, sorry, bro."). Plus, your friend's house has just as big a risk of fire, flood or bulgary as yours. I would have much greater piece of mind with a safe-deposit box.

      • But unless you are next door neighbors, or live in the same building, it is unlikely that both you and your friend's homes will burn/flood/be destroyed at the exact same time.

    • Surely your minions have done all this by now, aren't you following the Evil Mastermind Playbook:Organizing in an Evil Organization?

  • by photonic (584757) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:47AM (#46876531)

    Since having this nightmare, I've exported my phone's VCF file to an online repo, made online notes of all my bank account numbers and passport ID, I keep ICE numbers with me at all times (separate from phone/wallet), and I've hidden a spare mobile phone and house key in a box in a nearby field. But there must be more to do!

    I think the only thing left to do is buying loads of a aluminium foil.

  • Scan everything (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:57AM (#46876567)

    Quite aside from your important personal documents, it's good practice to keep scanned copies of every bit of potentially-useful correspondence, and throw them in a Dropbox. The sizes aren't huge even for passable quality. If you have - or have access to - a good sheet-feed scanner, it's not even a particularly arduous process. These days I have a rolling two-year buffer of things like utility bills; each month the new one goes through the scanner, and the oldest one goes through the shredder.

    Well, when I can be bothered, but you know what I'm getting at.

    • by cdrudge (68377)

      Quite aside from your important personal documents, it's good practice to keep scanned copies of every bit of potentially-useful correspondence, and throw them in a Dropbox.

      This way, when (not if) your account get compromised the identity thief doesn't have to really dig through your life to get everything he needs. It's all in one place.

  • by lemur3 (997863) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @06:13AM (#46876615)

    While it's not the best idea to keep all your eggs in one basket, Lastpass (a firefox, chrome, opera addon, plus a standalone app) is an OK way to store this kind of data.

    It is all encrypted/decrypted locally .and then uploaded to the DREADED cloud! ...the lastpass folks never have access to your data.. so theres nothing to 'steal'..

    While primarily a place to keep your passwords it does have a handy feature for what they call Secure Notes, with premade forms to filling out all of your personal private info, allowing pictures/scans to be added.

    and... while that might be creepy for uploading to Facebook..... with lastpass they cannot decrypt the data, because they dont have your password and cant change it if you 'forgot' it..... because it was all encrypted before even being sent to them...including your password..

    then you export a copy of the encrypted database, upload it all over the place in various email accounts, put it in safe deposit boxes on DVDs and flash drives..all stored with a copy of the standalone app that will show you the data, so even if the internet explodes too, youll be good to go!

  • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @06:33AM (#46876687)

    Facebook and the NSA know what you look like, and Google can identify you by your browsing habits.

  • This is especially important if your homeowner's insurance covers the contents (which it ought to.) Take digital pictures of anything major of value you will need replaced. Appliances, television, computers, furniture, rare musical instruments, etc. Then store them online someplace. That way, when you go to file an insurance claim, you have evidence to back up the dollar value of the things you will need to fully rebuild. Otherwise they're just gonna cut you a check for a couple thousand in addition to
  • Planning for such an event is like planning for winning the lottery: it is almost certain will win the lottery, and it's almost certain it won't be you.

    Likewise, such catastrophic events happen to someone sometimes, but you don't have to worry about it happening to you. Really. Stop worrying so much.

    If you live in a tornado-targeted area, you should prepare for a tornado to hit your house.

    If you live in a flood area, prepare for a flood.

    It's all about statistics and the Bernoulli equation: examine the chance of something happening and the effect it could have on your life, and prepare for the events that pose a significant danger.

  • Safe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jon Peterson (1443) <jon@NoSPAm.snowdrift.org> on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @06:53AM (#46876785) Homepage

    An inexpensive fire-proof and waterproof safe will survive a gas explosion just fine.

    But you are overestimating the importance of identity documents. A few sworn statements will have you up and running again in no time.

    • Any safe worth its money cannot be harmed by a simple gas explosion in the surrounding house, tornado, car crashing though the walls, etc. and if you have one or two hours of fire protection, that also covers the vast majority of house fires.

      • by Zeromous (668365)

        This is simply not true at all. Even the best fireproof (read: not resistant) contents will be damaged a subjected to heat (ID, electronics, plastic money) and are subject to water damage (there is no perfect seal). A gas explosion maybe, a fire of any length puts those documents at risk, as does the rescue effort (water).

        Source: lead for tape/document storage and disaster recovery for several years, once upon a time.

  • "...and I've hidden a spare mobile phone and house key in a box in a nearby field."

    Is this for real or is this just for laughs... Are you really expecting such a massive catastrophe that none of your neighbours would have a phone... not even a passer-by... not even a fireman attending to the catastrophe!? Given the scenario you have just described... what would you use the hidden key for... "the smoldering (sic) lock" lying in a pile of ash?

    I obsess over old family photographs that are yet to be digitised, certificates, awards, children's memorabilia, etc.... basically stuff that no amoun

  • The scenario in which you describe is at a level of improbability equal to the chances of every system monitoring you also forgetting who you are.

    In other words, calm down, because they'll open a Dairy Queen in Hades before that ever happens.

  • Keep the photocopies in a sealed envelope so you know if someone has tampered with them ( if you're paranoid). If you're really paranoid, scan them and encrypt the files, store the files on three types of media (flash, optical, paper print out of the bytes) in your safe deposit box. If you're less paranoid, keep the originals at the bank. Presumably, you only need them when you have advanced notice and very rarely. The bank will have better fire/explosion mitigation.
  • You have forgotten to back up your DNA. What if you lose your arm physical data? Best put some spit and nail clippings in that box in the field.

    Unfortunately, your DNA backup cannot store your memories. So you should upload your entire mind-state to the cloud, just in case of brain hardware failure. A spreadsheet on Office 365 would be the most convenient way of doing this.

  • by koan (80826)

    Safe deposit box or storage facility, copy of your passport, birth certificate and other data.

    I keep a small water tight aluminium box with my passport, other records, several thousand in cash, some 1/10 ounce gold coins, a pocket pistol and a joint secure and ready to go.

    You just never know.


  • Some banks, like my own (TD Canada Trust), offer one for free if you keep a minimum balance in an account. That is where all our original documents go.
  • Tape stored offsite. Too expensive? Then something not as good so long as you have multiple copies and format shift every couple of years (with tape you need to format shift around the decade mark or sooner). Hard drives are not designed to last a long time unpowered so you may need to spin them up every year or two - polished surfaces diffuse together over time. The lubricant in drive bearings also has a limited life in comparison to tape (where it doesn't need to deal with high speeds at all). Optica
  • DR in this case, is "Disaster Recovery".

    Look up the various tomes and processes for businesses and do the same things for yourself (minus the stupid certifications and $200K transferred to some consultant's hands) or find something specifically tailored for that

    This blog web site was written by a guy that had to move his family during hurricane Katrina, and it has all sorts of processes and things to do to recover in that situation. It's old now, but you can add a modern twist. (I'd recommend an encryp

  • Franklin Covey used to recommend that you never leave home without it. Plus those quotes of the day are just precious...I will no longer recommend the FC version of the planner though, after they reneged on a "money back if not satisfied" promise. They proved to me that their company is without honor.

  • "But there must be more to do!"

    Yes, seek assistance from a mental health professional before your obsessive/paranoid behavior tips over into full blown illness.

    Seriously, hiding something in a field against a one-in-a-billion combination of events - and then posting an Ask Slashdot to see if there's anything more you can do? There's prudent caution, and then there's.... well, you. You've departed the hump in the bell curve of behavior and you're rapidly blowing past the tail of the curve. This d

  • I had that problem once when I lost my wallet. To get a new drivers license, I needed proof of identity through something with a signature. Needless to say, I didn't have it. So we settled we ended up settling on a gas receipt that was signed. ... Nothing more official than that.
  • Digital vs physical data? What is this odd beast called physical data? Get a Fuji iX500 scanner and you can scan 10 years worth of paperwork in an afternoon. I store it in Devonthink, but if you store it in Evernote its automatically backed up to the cloud. Put all your numbers, passport numbers and critical stuff in 1Password and sync with the cloud. Done!

  • When I got my drivers license I didn't have any photo ID. In Ontario there is a vouching system so you use your doctor, dentist, pastor, or other licensed person of notability to confirm your identity. They have to have known you for a period greater than 5 years which is pretty easy with those individuals. I think they risk their professional licensing so the fraud is very low. Hopefully you don't have a party at your house with all the professionals you know and you leave to get more beer when it explodes
  • If your physical data is in the form of "fish", don't destroy it prematurely!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/... [washingtonpost.com]

  • ...your papers would not be destroyed, you would have had your id in your wallet on your person. Locks don't smolder, and your key would still fit the lock in the door that got blown out of it's frame.

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