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Securing personal data on a flash drive

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  • Securing personal data on a flash drive

    Hey Guys,

    I'm LogicBob and I've been making an attempt to be more prepared on a daily basis. One of those steps toward preparedness is carrying digital copies of some personal documents with me in case of some emergency. Such documents would be my License to Carry a concealed weapon, prescriptions, insurance policies, ID, etc. What I'm hoping to get advice on is securing these documents.

    I'd like a solution that is easy to use, cross platform, and with no software required on the host machine. I was going to use TrueCrypt, but it requires administrator privledges on the host machine, and I'd like to avoid that too, if possible. The reason being, if I'm in some kind of horrific accident and the cops need access to these files, they're probably not going to have admin privledges on their machines.

    Sooo, what do you guys think about password protected compressed archives? Obviously, anything can be brute forced, but do zip archives have additional vulnerabilities? Do you have any other suggestions?

    In case you're wondering, I was planning on having a text file, outside of the archive, with instructions on how to obtain the password. I would put the phone numbers of some of my family and what to ask them to obtain the pass phrase.

    Any advice is appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: Securing personal data on a flash drive

    I can't comment too much on the cryptography side of things, but -

    If you're concerned about being in a horrific accident, and emergency workers needing access to certain information, I'd make things a simple and low-tech as possible. There's already existing 'tech' in this area - dog tags or medical bracelets. If the necessary medical info can't fit on those, you could just print a URL, or contact info for your doctor / family / medical records holder.

    Other documents you listed, such as the concealed carry license, don't really need to be kept secret in the first place, I would think.


    as for crypto - I find it convenient to keep my passwords in a program called keepassx. It's open source and cross platform, and doesn't require admin rights. As designed, It's only meant to store small text entries (passwords, answers to secret questions, etc.), but you could probably use that as a starting point. For example, if you just wanted to encode identifying information (social security #, license #, etc.), you could place those as entries into keepassx database files, store the database & program for each platform on the usb disk, and give the password to the database to family members.
    It's not stupid, it's advanced.


    • #3
      Re: Securing personal data on a flash drive

      I scan all my important documents, password protect them, them email them to an email account that I have. is a good one. There they sit until I need them. One email per document so they are easy to find. The best part of this security i that you can search me and my house and you will never find these documents. If the bad guys find your USB key they will know they are getting close.


      • #4
        Re: Securing personal data on a flash drive

        Depends who you consider "the bad guys".