Storing Important Documents Online

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ddurrett896
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Storing Important Documents Online

Post by ddurrett896 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:55 pm

Want to keep copies of Passport, birth certificate, SS card and other important documents online. What are you using? Thanks!

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AAA
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by AAA » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:06 pm

I faced this issue recently and, call me paranoid, but I decided that I simply was not comfortable trusting any online method, even after encrypting the information. Do you have a bank safe deposit box?

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:35 pm

AAA wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:06 pm
I faced this issue recently and, call me paranoid, but I decided that I simply was not comfortable trusting any online method, even after encrypting the information. Do you have a bank safe deposit box?
+1. I have a FidSafe account, but I have never felt comfortable storing any critical documentation there, or for that matter anywhere else online. I have it all in a LibreOffice Writer file, printed out and stored in our home safe, with the file copy stored on a USB stick in the same place. Putting account numbers, passwords, etc into a storage location that I do not control is a risk I don't have to take, so I don't.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

billthecat
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by billthecat » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:37 pm

You could just encrypt it before uploading it. This works especially well for static documents (i.e., you're not constantly editing).

For example, on the Mac just create an encrypted disk image, put the documents in that, and upload the image to cloud storage.

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lthenderson
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by lthenderson » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:37 pm

Would never store those documents online and I've never had a need to access them online.

ddurrett896
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by ddurrett896 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:13 pm

AAA wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:06 pm
I faced this issue recently and, call me paranoid, but I decided that I simply was not comfortable trusting any online method, even after encrypting the information. Do you have a bank safe deposit box?
Really want somewhere I can access from anywhere, so I can access in the event I’m traveling and lose passport,etc.

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Ice-9
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by Ice-9 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:33 pm

I use VeraCrypt to create a container that I keep in a cloud folder.
https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Home.html

However, I keep sensitive docs there like various statements, tax documents, scanned receipts for major work, etc. I'm a little confused why the OP wants to store what I assume would be a PDF scan of passport, birth certificate, and social security card there. I've been required to provide originals of such documents plenty of times, but I'm having trouble thinking of circumstances where a printed copy or electronic copy of such documents would be useful?

ddurrett896
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by ddurrett896 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:40 pm

Ice-9 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:33 pm
I'm having trouble thinking of circumstances where a printed copy or electronic copy of such documents would be useful?
Traveling out of the country. Potential for all personal belongings to be stolen.

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Ice-9
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by Ice-9 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:43 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:40 pm
Ice-9 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:33 pm
I'm having trouble thinking of circumstances where a printed copy or electronic copy of such documents would be useful?
Traveling out of the country. Potential for all personal belongings to be stolen.
Thanks - Good point.

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prudent
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by prudent » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:39 pm

I wish I could get comfortable with the concept of digital storage for personal information. An event earlier in my career where we had to convert a huge amount of data from one storage format to another has made me skittish.

To be able to rely on info stored in digital form you need
- media that stores information reliably
- access to the media
- hardware and software that can read back the data on the media
- application software than can interpret the file back to its usable form
- operating system software that can run the application software
- hardware that can run both the operating system software and the application software

That's a lot of pieces that can not only fail, but become obsolete. NASA back in the day had an immense amount of data stored on 9-track tape (that was the go-to storage media in the day) which was lost when it could not be read back from the tapes - the magnetic media had decayed over time.

Let's say I have a PDF on a memory stick. To be able to use it, I might need:
the memory stick / in my possession / hardware to plug it into / software driver to talk to the hardware interface to retrieve the file / PDF reader software that runs on my version of Windows / Windows operating system / a PC that can run Windows and the PDF reader software.

Now let's say it's 15 years later. Will all the necessary pieces be available? Even if you store online, you're adding another layer - that the place you stored them is still around and operational even though you eliminate the issue of hardware/software that can read the media.

These problems don't crop up in a year or two, but technology is ever-changing. As I learned back then, it's just too easy to keep storing files away year after year only to find one day that it's really hard to get the data back when you want it. It wasn't that long ago that photobucket users got a rude awakening.

We all hope PDF files can be read forever, our cloud storage outfit will be around forever, and we never have to deal with learning that we have to do a boatload of work just to keep our existing digital files alive.

lightheir
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by lightheir » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:49 pm

I have had a digital archive for 12 years now and it's been great. Easier and easier with every year it seems as more and better services pop up. Cloud storage has proven particularly effective against obsolescence and getting lost.

blueman457
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by blueman457 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:57 pm

I use an encrypted Mac .dmg file to store all my sensitive documents. That file is located on Dropbox. I feel comfortable enough that the .dmg file won’t get hacked.

For travel purposes, I do have paper copies of all critical documents. And I have a pdf of them stored on my 2FA email account.

Blue man

obgraham
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by obgraham » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:41 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:40 pm
Ice-9 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:33 pm
I'm having trouble thinking of circumstances where a printed copy or electronic copy of such documents would be useful?
Traveling out of the country. Potential for all personal belongings to be stolen.
I look at this "paper vs digital" completely the opposite. The paper may not be readily available.

When traveling, I put copies of my documents in Dropbox. I can then retrieve a paper printout anywhere there is a computer and internet: Hotel, coffeeshops, internet cafes, or even the US embassy if needed.

ddurrett896
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by ddurrett896 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:52 pm

blueman457 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:57 pm
I use an encrypted Mac .dmg file to store all my sensitive documents. That file is located on Dropbox. I feel comfortable enough that the .dmg file won’t get hacked.

For travel purposes, I do have paper copies of all critical documents. And I have a pdf of them stored on my 2FA email account.

Blue man
I have a Mac and iPhone. If the encrypted file is in Dropbox, what stops someone from stealing my Dropbox info and accessing the file? Does the file require a password to open? Thank you!!

RustyShackleford
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by RustyShackleford » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:26 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:52 pm
If the encrypted file is in Dropbox, what stops someone from stealing my Dropbox info and accessing the file? Does the file require a password to open?
Yes, the whole point of the encrypted file is that you need a password to open it. Dropbox claims they protect your data somehow, but what people are talking about here is encrypting it yourself, using a program like Veracrypt. There was some talk about Veracrypt's precursor, Truecrypt, that it had a "back door" that enabled the authorities to access your data; supposedly Veracrypt addresses this by allowing the source code to be publicly available so that such a back door could be discovered. My attitude is that my main concern is hackers who want to steal my identity; if the NSA is after me, I've got much bigger problems !

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AAA
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by AAA » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:40 am

blueman457 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:57 pm
I use an encrypted Mac .dmg file to store all my sensitive documents. That file is located on Dropbox. I feel comfortable enough that the .dmg file won’t get hacked.
That's what I was originally considering for files with my passwords, tax returns, etc., and what you are doing is probably 99.9999% safe, but I chickened out of actually doing it. I just felt uncomfortable having such personal information in the cloud. I even considered an encrypted file that contained another encrypted file with my data!

In the end, what I did was to have a few duplicate encrypted USB drives including one in my bank safe deposit box that periodically gets switched out with one of the up-to-date ones. I suppose if the bank is robbed and the boxes cleaned out, that would be the same as someone hacking a Dropbox account and stealing an encrypted file. What you are doing is more convenient as you can update the file on Dropbox any time.

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AAA
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by AAA » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:49 am

prudent wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:39 pm
I wish I could get comfortable with the concept of digital storage for personal information. An event earlier in my career where we had to convert a huge amount of data from one storage format to another has made me skittish.

To be able to rely on info stored in digital form you need
- media that stores information reliably
- access to the media
- hardware and software that can read back the data on the media
- application software than can interpret the file back to its usable form
- operating system software that can run the application software
- hardware that can run both the operating system software and the application software
What you are saying is true, but in practice things don't change that quickly and one can adapt by changing the format of things. Worse case scenario one could probably buy a used computer that had the necessary hardware and software. Your NASA example is surprising as I would have thought they'd have periodically copied the data on to newer tapes.

sksbog
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by sksbog » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:13 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:13 pm
AAA wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:06 pm
I faced this issue recently and, call me paranoid, but I decided that I simply was not comfortable trusting any online method, even after encrypting the information. Do you have a bank safe deposit box?
Really want somewhere I can access from anywhere, so I can access in the event I’m traveling and lose passport,etc.
Have you tried Evernote?
You can turn on multi-factor authentication and remember use a sentence for password not a word.

sksbog
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by sksbog » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:23 pm

prudent wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:39 pm
I wish I could get comfortable with the concept of digital storage for personal information. An event earlier in my career where we had to convert a huge amount of data from one storage format to another has made me skittish.

To be able to rely on info stored in digital form you need
- media that stores information reliably
- access to the media
- hardware and software that can read back the data on the media
- application software than can interpret the file back to its usable form
- operating system software that can run the application software
- hardware that can run both the operating system software and the application software

That's a lot of pieces that can not only fail, but become obsolete. NASA back in the day had an immense amount of data stored on 9-track tape (that was the go-to storage media in the day) which was lost when it could not be read back from the tapes - the magnetic media had decayed over time.

Let's say I have a PDF on a memory stick. To be able to use it, I might need:
the memory stick / in my possession / hardware to plug it into / software driver to talk to the hardware interface to retrieve the file / PDF reader software that runs on my version of Windows / Windows operating system / a PC that can run Windows and the PDF reader software.

Now let's say it's 15 years later. Will all the necessary pieces be available? Even if you store online, you're adding another layer - that the place you stored them is still around and operational even though you eliminate the issue of hardware/software that can read the media.

These problems don't crop up in a year or two, but technology is ever-changing. As I learned back then, it's just too easy to keep storing files away year after year only to find one day that it's really hard to get the data back when you want it. It wasn't that long ago that photobucket users got a rude awakening.

We all hope PDF files can be read forever, our cloud storage outfit will be around forever, and we never have to deal with learning that we have to do a boatload of work just to keep our existing digital files alive.
What you are describing with NASA is hardware failure which can not be revived even with backup compatibility.
With software, unless Adobe goes bust in next 25-30 years , there should not be a problem. And even then, there will always products in market to convert or read. pDF files from 10 years still can be read.

macheta
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by macheta » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:38 pm

I encrypted my files before upload. The idea of having a backup files in the cloud being able to access it from different computers is better than playing it safe. How you manage your information is important. For me the probability of someone hacking the encrypted Microsoft cloud seemed low. The probability of hacking the cloud and hacking the encrypted (encrypted external to the cloud) file just could not be done.

Like I said, how you manage your information is important. There are people out there that we think are safe but they are trying to steal your information. This includes family and friends.

blueman457
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by blueman457 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:55 pm

AAA wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:40 am
blueman457 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:57 pm
I use an encrypted Mac .dmg file to store all my sensitive documents. That file is located on Dropbox. I feel comfortable enough that the .dmg file won’t get hacked.
That's what I was originally considering for files with my passwords, tax returns, etc., and what you are doing is probably 99.9999% safe, but I chickened out of actually doing it. I just felt uncomfortable having such personal information in the cloud. I even considered an encrypted file that contained another encrypted file with my data!

In the end, what I did was to have a few duplicate encrypted USB drives including one in my bank safe deposit box that periodically gets switched out with one of the up-to-date ones. I suppose if the bank is robbed and the boxes cleaned out, that would be the same as someone hacking a Dropbox account and stealing an encrypted file. What you are doing is more convenient as you can update the file on Dropbox any time.
Technically, I can’t edit the files on Dropbox. I have to open the file on my computer, enter my password, then edit the files from there. After I save the files and close the .dmg file it syncs to Dropbox. I felt more secure about apple’s encryption after reading this (although the crime is horrible):

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/201 ... es-appeal/

stan1
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:01 pm

A person might say the risk of being killed in a car accident while driving to the grocery store is too high and choose to walk instead but then jaywalk across a busy road. I do put a copy of my passport in Dropbox so that I can access it if needed while I'm out of the US. I do the same for proof of auto insurance, drivers license and other information. I also back up my tax returns in the cloud because at least right now I think that's more secure than someone breaking into my house and stealing my computer and hard drives. All data is encrypted.

Let's say I store my passport in Dropbox. What is the consequence of someone getting ahold of a copy of my passport? For me probably limited. What is the likelihood of someone getting access to it? For me probably low unless I give my password to someone else or use the same password that I use at an online gambling or Pr0n site.

If I was a high profile individual who would be targeted for intelligence collection or exploitation I would not do some of the above. Some examples would be a politician, public figure, inventor, widely published scientist, C-level executive, attorney involved in high stakes international negotiations or litigation, or a very high net worth individual. If I'm an IT gal or retired on social security and my name comes up pretty clean if I do an internet search on it I would not be overly worried. If I searched my name and it came back "sold his business for $100M" I'd be a lot more cautious. Note I might change my mind on this in a few years if new information becomes available.

At this point after all the publicly disclosed data breaches (and those that haven't been) I assume foreign intelligence agencies and organized crime syndicates with ties to intelligence agencies who want to build a database on all Americans have all the information they want about me. Likewise I assume Google and Facebook know everything they want to know about me (although I'll admit I do try to give them false information as well such as an incorrect birth date). You may or may not have a different perspective if you assume your "private" data is already not private.

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Ricola
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by Ricola » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:03 pm

You might want to look at Crytomator https://cryptomator.org

Lacrocious
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by Lacrocious » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:09 pm

Do you use a Password Manager (LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password, etc.)? Most allow you to store other documents. I am use LastPass and you can store memos to yourself and include an attachment. It would be stored encrypted like all your passwords are encrypted. I can access the memos and passwords from my phone or tablet or any web browser. Granted, If I was stuck in another country and needed to access it, I would be very careful as to what computer I was accessing it from and what internet connection - but I would be able to access it.
- L

mhalley
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by mhalley » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:28 pm

I also don’t feel comfortable storing this sensitive data online. I keep my KEEpass file local. I suppose if you froze your credit, and put the documents in fidsafe with an extremely strong password while traveling, then delete the file when you return home the chance of compromise would be low. I just make a paper copy of important documents that I carry with me in a different way than my passport when traveling.

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midareff
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by midareff » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:41 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:55 pm
Want to keep copies of Passport, birth certificate, SS card and other important documents online. What are you using? Thanks!
I keep the relevant account numbers in a word doc in a LastPass Vault. Advantage is it can be accessed by my phone or tablet (recognized devices) provided the 16 character password and correct email is used to access the account, in a country access has been user set to be allowed. Have not tried jpegs though.. might give that a shot and see how it goes.

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ladders11
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by ladders11 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:06 pm

mhalley wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:28 pm
I also don’t feel comfortable storing this sensitive data online. I keep my KEEpass file local. I suppose if you froze your credit, and put the documents in fidsafe with an extremely strong password while traveling, then delete the file when you return home the chance of compromise would be low. I just make a paper copy of important documents that I carry with me in a different way than my passport when traveling.
If you think about it, a variety of companies are already storing our data online. Banks, health insurance, payroll processors, tax authorities, credit bureaus, etc. And they've lost it online throughout the years, too.

Storing it online yourself, expecting you take logical precautions, makes no difference really. You as a individual are much less of a target.

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AAA
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Re: Storing Important Documents Online

Post by AAA » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:22 pm

ladders11 wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:06 pm
If you think about it, a variety of companies are already storing our data online. Banks, health insurance, payroll processors, tax authorities, credit bureaus, etc. And they've lost it online throughout the years, too.

Storing it online yourself, expecting you take logical precautions, makes no difference really. You as a individual are much less of a target.
Except when one of those entities is hacked, only your information with them is compromised. If you put all your important data in the cloud and you are hacked, it is all compromised.

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