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#172967 - 05/08/09 07:32 PM Flash drive info dump
JBMat Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 745
Loc: NC
For last Christmas I got a flash drive with a fair amount of space on it.

I was trying to think of what I could do with it, when I realized that I had no one spot that I could go to for phone/account numbers/serial numbers/service providers.

So I started a list of what I consider vital information. It's not hard to do. Start with you, list all the numbers in your life, ssn, blood type, address, phone number, cell number, DL number, you get the idea. Then do the same for the wife and kiddies.

Expand it with a section on all the places you do business with, like the electrical company or cable company. Include their contact numbers for service and/or questions, as well as your account number. Instead of searching thru the file cabinet, I go to my saved file and there's the info.

If you are feeling ambitious, list all items in the house that have serial numbers, like TVs, CD players, the PC you are reading this on. What if all that was gone? Either thru a theft or natural disaster.

This is just something that I thought would be a good waste of space on an otherwise unused flash drive.

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#172971 - 05/08/09 08:54 PM Re: Flash drive info dump [Re: JBMat]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2117
Loc: Colorado
I have done exactly that. I also have scanned copies of all important paperwork - marriage license, car registrations, birth certificates, etc. Scanned credit cards, scanned professional licenses (along with text files that contain the same information you'd see on the scans). Recent pictures of family members, home, and pets. You name it - anything you might need during a disaster, or afterwards to help you reestablish your identity.

All of this is strongly encrypted, or course! Otherwise, you're baiting the identity thieves like baiting a shark with a side of beef!

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#172977 - 05/08/09 10:18 PM Re: Flash drive info dump [Re: ]
raptor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 284
Loc: Europe
I donīt know, I would not trust built in security features of any flash drive. You donīt know how strong the encryption is or if itīs even there. I have read about flash drives with "military grade" security features that were hacked in no time when somebody decided to test it. I think proven open source encryption (for example using TrueCrypt) is essential.

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#172989 - 05/09/09 05:44 PM Re: Flash drive info dump [Re: raptor]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2117
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: raptor
I think proven open source encryption (for example using TrueCrypt) is essential.

TrueCrypt is what I use also. Since I bounce between Linux and Windows systems, it's great. Also, you can put an entire Linux OS on the flashdrive alongside TreuCrypt and your encrypted data. So you have a totally self contained flashdrive that you can boot from, or access from another OS if that's what you prefer to do.

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#172996 - 05/09/09 09:09 PM Re: Flash drive info dump [Re: haertig]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
So would you all recommend using 3rd party software as opposed to the encryption software that comes with Verbatim, SanDisk, Kingston, etc?

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#173020 - 05/10/09 12:33 AM Re: Flash drive info dump [Re: JBMat]
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
If you're looking for a quick easy program to sync folders (they can be on the same harddrive, or a harddrive and a USB device, etc), check out Microsoft's free SyncToy tool:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/detai...;displaylang=en

I used it to keep my USB drive up-to-date with my grad school work. Very nice.

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#173038 - 05/10/09 03:16 AM Re: Flash drive info dump [Re: LED]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2117
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: LED
So would you all recommend using 3rd party software as opposed to the encryption software that comes with Verbatim, SanDisk, Kingston, etc?


Exactly.

You do not know what kind of encryption, how strong it is, or how well it will be supported in the future for software that comes with your flashdrive.

By "third party" software we are talking "Open Source" encryption software. The benefits are:

(1) Open source means you get the source code. You can even compile it yourself if you are so inclined. But this also means that you, and others, can review the source code and determine firsthand if there are hidden backdoors or vulnerabilitys. Not everyone is capable of examining the source code to this level, but many are and have done so.

(2) If a new OS version comes out and the manufacturer of your flashdrive doesn't update their software for it, open source allows you (or someone else) to modify/recompile the source code for that new platform. So your data is not encrypted and locked into an older OS due to some manufacturers proprietary encryption.

(3) Open source is free.

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#173110 - 05/11/09 11:21 AM Re: Flash drive info dump [Re: ]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Truecrypt

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#173111 - 05/11/09 11:22 AM Re: Flash drive info dump [Re: haertig]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
TrueCrypt.
Truecrypt.
Truecrypt.


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#173576 - 05/20/09 11:16 AM Re: Flash drive info dump [Re: MartinFocazio]
CrazyJ Offline
Stranger

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 4
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio
Truecrypt


The limitation with TrueCrypt (as I understand it) is that because it "mounts" the encrypted portion of the USB memory as a new drive on the computer you have to run it under a profile that has administrative rights. I think this could cause some problems accessing your data in an emergency because the government or public computers that you might use in a "re-establish your identity" situation probably won't have admin rights enabled.

Anyone have a suggestion for a strong encryption program that can be run on any computer? Rohos Mini-Drive was recommended on another forum, but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

-J

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