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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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  • by SeaFox (739806) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @04:26AM (#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...

  • papers, please (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @04:27AM (#46876449)

    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 Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @04:30AM (#46876461)

    The answer to your fears is government. In a normal country (i.e. a unitary nation state), the government has all people counted and issued with papers, like personal ID, tax number, social security ID, passport, weapon holder's permit and driver's licence. They have a sequence of your face photos on file, usually required to be renewed every 5-15 years and maybe even your fingerprint and DNA.

    Not all of those things exist in the USA and if they do, they are often fragmentary and held by the various member states, counties or townships, rather than the federal government. That is why the tea party "birthers"can continue to question Obama's eligibility to office, even though he is Barack Malik Shabazz Jr., the illegitimate biological son of slain black civil rights activist "Malcolm X" and Ms. Stanley Ann Dunham, thus being a 100% natural born US citizen.

    I think the USA urgently needs to convert to a nation-state with uniform laws, so that murder gets the same death penalty everywhere and the governance needs to be centralized. otherwise the USA will soon fall apart into pieces like Duchy of Texarkana and California Republic, as the econimic crisis prompts the rich parts to secede from the less fortunate Chicago area, etc. What is the long-delayed mega earthquake hits the Yellowstone or the Pacific shore? Internal cohesion is very weak in USA, the mid-west pitchforkers would shoot homosexual refugees from LA on sight and only a strong unitary nation state government could hold the USA in one piece under such conditions, with fire and brimstone, if necessary. The alternative is "ukrainization" of USA, which is the ultimate goal of Israel, as they are in the process of changing allegiance, to China!

  • by StoneCrusher (717949) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @04:31AM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @04:45AM (#46876521)

    Really? do you honestly believe that everyone on this planet owes someone or some company money?

    You really need to get out of your mom's basement from time to time.

    Personally, I owe no one any money. sure I have Credit Cards but I clear the bill before the statement is issued, otherwise I owe no one anything.
    Before anyone asks, I own my own home and don't have a mortgage. I cleared that years ago. If I can't afford to pay for something in full, I simply don't buy it.
    It might do a few more people to follow that advice.

  • by RandomFactor (22447) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:48AM (#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...
  • Safe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jon Peterson (1443) <<jon> <at> <snowdrift.org>> on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:53AM (#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.

  • by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:53AM (#46876787)

    Really? do you honestly believe that everyone on this planet owes someone or some company money?

    You really need to get out of your mom's basement from time to time.

    Personally, I owe no one any money. sure I have Credit Cards but I clear the bill before the statement is issued, otherwise I owe no one anything.
    Before anyone asks, I own my own home and don't have a mortgage. I cleared that years ago. If I can't afford to pay for something in full, I simply don't buy it.
    It might do a few more people to follow that advice.

    You also have a crap credit score, if that's true.

    I'm generally not "in debt" by most people's standards - even pay cash on a new roof, but every few years I'll buy something financed or run a balance or something that keeps my score up.

    Because life isn't predictable and some day having a good credit rating may make the difference between being able to maintain my lifestyle and property over a period of interrupted income or losing things I'd rather keep. Or at least paying lower interest while I'm recovering.

  • by msauve (701917) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @06:45AM (#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?

  • by Algae_94 (2017070) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @01:40PM (#46882401) Journal

    Really? do you honestly believe that everyone on this planet owes someone or some company money?

    You really need to get out of your mom's basement from time to time.

    Personally, I owe no one any money. sure I have Credit Cards but I clear the bill before the statement is issued, otherwise I owe no one anything.
    Before anyone asks, I own my own home and don't have a mortgage. I cleared that years ago. If I can't afford to pay for something in full, I simply don't buy it.
    It might do a few more people to follow that advice.

    You also have a crap credit score, if that's true.

    I'm generally not "in debt" by most people's standards - even pay cash on a new roof, but every few years I'll buy something financed or run a balance or something that keeps my score up.

    Because life isn't predictable and some day having a good credit rating may make the difference between being able to maintain my lifestyle and property over a period of interrupted income or losing things I'd rather keep. Or at least paying lower interest while I'm recovering.

    You absolutely do not need to run a balance periodically to keep a high credit score. The age of your credit is a factor, so just holding those credit cards through the years will help. The current amount of your available credit that you have used is a factor as well. Using more of your available credit is a negative. I assure you that what you are talking about doing is not needed to have a credit rating over 800. No one would consider an 800+ rating to be crap. It is an old wives' tale that you need to be paying finance charges to have good credit. It's just common sense that someone with the discipline to pay off their credit charges every month is a better credit risk than someone that carries a balance and takes months to pay off some charges.

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