Where do you keep info like your kids SSN's, username and passwords to websites, i.e. your bank acct? I keep my personal info in my handheld palm pilot which makes my purse very heavy. I can not keep this info on a computer because I share computers at home and at work. If I use an address book I am concerned that someone might find it. Do you have any suggestions?
A fireproof lock box for a start. Next, if you have an email address with yahoo,hotmail or whatever you may have, each one has a notebook, use it for security. No one should have your password that you use to get into your email and it is easily obtained by you then when needed. Hope this helps.
If you are willing to keep important info on a thumb drive, this would be great. Type all info as word doc, then send to your thumb drive. Every time you need to edit or add, just "send" to hard drive, update your document, then "cut" and "paste" back to your thumb drive. This way it's not on your computer, only your private thumb drive.
I suggest a few things for a grab and dash (in case you need to evacuate your home quickly) box:
ORIGINAL or CERTIFIED copies of birth certificates, social security cards (not just #'s written down). A colour copy of drivers license #, credit and/or debit #'s, insurance policies, from auto, to life and property and renter's if you have it. Detail (and PHOTOGRAPHS) of any valueable items you own, including jewellry, cars, electronics, antiques, etc and their appraised values.
Recent photographs of family members with detailed descriptions of height, weight, allergies, special needs, medicines needed or information that may help in an emergency. It would help to know if your meds are online (like at Wallgreens or Walmart pharmacies) and if they have records of your meds.
Keep CERTIFIED copies in another location away from your home. Just in case for some reason you cannot get to your box, or the information still becomes damaged or lost. It could be a safe box at the bank, a trusted relative, but somewhere that if you need to, you can get this information quickly.
Finally, get a small flash drive. They can be a bit pricey, but if you get one for ONLY scanned copies of the information in your grab and dash box, you don't need large storage, just a flash drive that can be either password protected or otherwise locked and opened only by you. I have seen some great ones for under 20, and adequate ones for about 10. They are small, fit in a billfold or zipper compartment in day runners or women's purses and not take up very much space.
*NOTE scanned or photocopies of any documents are not valid when applying for any kind of aid (welfare, food stamps, etc), but it will just help with carrying the information on your person without carrying the box.
I hope this helps.
Don't forget to include in your grab and dash box to include the name and number and relationship of someone who you would want contacted in the event of emergency.
The flash drive is an excellent idea, and you can keep a gig of memory (larger than a CD) on them. I just bought one for just 9.99
As for your purse, I use the Mirror idea.
I write everything down backwards. SS Number, Checking and Debit Card account numbers, drivers license numbers, account numbers, etc.
Using a pilot is great, but you are right, they are not only heavy, but are attractive to thieves.
I also put everything on CD's and have a "Grab and Go" pouch next to the door. That is a great idea, too. On my CD's, I have every photo in existence, my important papers, a pictorial and hand written and scanned itemization of what I own, copies of all my ID, etc. I also have a copy of any keys that are important to me.
Something to keep in mind. If you or someone passes away, the bank will seal your deposit box for 6 months, so do not keep your will or insurance papers in it.
Fire proof safes are not too pricey anymore, but to a burgler, they are like candy. If you have one, put it inside a pretty basket or do what I do.
I have mine inside a decorated bucket. On top, is a false top with a fake plant hot glued to it. You can't tell the difference. In less than a minute, I have my cats, all the info to "start over" and my purse.
Sometimes, when thinking security, you want to "think like a thief". When you do, just think of what would foil you. Then, do that.
Hope it helped!
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