Scattered throughout my DevonThink database are scans of important documents such as birth and marriage certificate, passports of all family members, etc. I was wondering whether it would not be more cautious to store such documents in a Dropbox folder, as this would allow me to access them from any computer in case of emergency (even though DT’s security is better). Since we travel quite a bit this seems like something to think about.
What is your strategy to deal with such documents?
I store them in 1Password, synchronised through Dropbox. I hope that is fairly secure. And it should be available everywhere – even through 1Password’s web interface, if I’m not mistaken.
Not a good idea to place copies of documents that are the threshold to complete identity theft into the hands of someone you have no idea who they are, doing something you have no idea what they do, and doing it somewhere you have no idea where it is.
Unless you are in complete control of Dropbox the company or 1Password. Don’t do it. Don’t believe anyone’s promises about encryption and security, ever. Don’t put stuff like this on an iPad that can be stolen and de-encrypted. If it can be stolen, it will be stolen.
Find another way.
At home, I keep the originals plus hard copies in a locked space. When abroad, I either keep them on my person, or, if necessary, in a locked hotel safe. I do not keep electronic copies anywhere.
“Fairly secure” for items whose loss - or, possibly, worse still, whose fraudulent reproduction unknown to me - could cost me large amounts of cash and/or considerable personal disruption, is not good enough for me. As a journalist, I’ve seen the damage that can be done.
I think you need to think through exactly what those circumstances would be to arrive at a good approach. As others have pointed out, unauthorised access to the documents you’ve listed could be catastrophic.
I’m not sure where you’d need access to an electronic facsimile of birth certificate or passport - it seems to me that if you need the document, you’ll have to produce the original.
I could see possibly storing data such as passport number in something like 1Password - I routinely get asked for it in forms (I’m a freelance consultant in the UK and everything time I go up for a new assignment, I’m expect to use as a minimum passport number to show I have a right to work in Britain).
Having said all that, your needs may differ - hence my first point