But how do you carry all these official documents (and secure information like passwords) and protect them against theft?
I know travellers who scan their official documents and store them in their email account so they’re accessible from anywhere. I have a problem with this. The information being stored is very personal, and email account hacking is child’s play for internet fraudsters. Accessing an email account that has passwords, copies of ID, and other official documents would be a veritable gold mine.
So instead, I use my trusty USB Stick Trick.
I first learned about internet security from my travel colleague Anil at FoxNomad. As a former white collar hacker, he’s got lots of tricks up his sleeve. So after reading his articles about laptop security, protecting online accounts, and USB applications, I devised a plan:
I use the free application called KeePassX both on my computer and on a USB stick. It creates an encrypted database that not only helps you manage your passwords, but allows you to store scans and additional notes and information associated with each item.
So I have scans of all the ID and cards in my wallet (my real wallet, that is), along with passwords and account numbers, and even relevant emergency numbers to call in case of loss or theft. I also store all my account numbers and passwords (from email to frequent flyer accounts and beyond), official documents, and of course – my passport.
In addition to the encrypted ID/password database, my trusty USB stick also has a few non-encrypted documents like any itinerary items I have (flight tickets or confirmation of reservations).
This USB stick then fits into a tiny pouch that I can keep under my clothes at all times.
Basically, if something awful happens and I’m stripped of everything, I can wander into the nearest consulate with my trusty USB stick and start the process of reinstating my ID, cancelling stolen cards, and getting on with my life.
What do you do to protect your ID against loss or theft, and/or to remember passwords on the road?