Internet documents archive security
September 1, 2007 3:29 PM   Subscribe

I want to archive my personal documents like birth certificate, mark sheet, bond, bank statement details etc by scanning them and storing in the internet. I thought i will scan and store them in my email accounts. (like yahoo etc) However i am not sure, whether storing those documents in yahoo email etc is safe. Can some one suggest a good safe option, where i can scan documents and put them in internet not accessible to others. Are there any free encryption software which encrypts the documents and stores them. It is okay, if some budget software is also available, instead of freeware.
posted by tom123 to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You can easily encrypt the files (or create an encrypted folder) which is password protected and add those as an attachment to your email. Are you on a Windows, Mac, or Linux?
posted by gwint at 3:49 PM on September 1, 2007

I am in windows.
posted by tom123 at 3:53 PM on September 1, 2007

This may not suit your needs, but you could save them on a disc and put it in a safety deposit box. This wouldn't help you if you needed to access them from a remote location, though.
posted by acoutu at 4:12 PM on September 1, 2007

Mozy will achieve what you are after.
posted by cwhitfcd at 4:35 PM on September 1, 2007 will Jungle Disk.
posted by sad_otter at 4:40 PM on September 1, 2007

Mozy and Jungle Disk are online hosts that will store your encrypted data for a monthly fee. If you still want to pursue the free option of storing your encrypted data as attachments in email, you can look into TrueCrypt.
posted by gwint at 4:57 PM on September 1, 2007

Encrytion software is what you need.
I strongly suggest Stegano's SAFE. I have been using it for years. It is a German company that uses encryption technology beyond CIA (supposly..)

Beside their good updating process and reasonable price, The company is well respected. This should ensure software's longitivity.

Very simple to use.

If I were u, I would

create password protected PDF file with all your scans and documents in it. Then encrypt it with the Stegano's SAFE. It will create a file with password protection.

then, I will upload this to your email account.

Use different long password for each password. Make sure it is something that u can remember. Such as putting all your birthday+social+your middle name+first high school or something like that (i.e. 080265523901332GregoryLosAngelesHighSchool)
posted by curiousleo at 5:24 PM on September 1, 2007

OK, I can't comment on the rest of curiousleo's comment, but as to easy-to-remember-passcodes, birthdays and name etc. are relatively easy to figure out.

I'd suggest even more basing a passcode on a tiny, common book you can carry around with you. It's useless to others for determining your password, but if you know your method (every capitalized letter on page 72 and 84, plus your a digit of your school number ID from 10 years ago every 4 letters, whatever), you can remember your password. It's not great, but it's passable, and memorable.

Why do you want it online -- ease of access? Or just as a back-up of your important documents? That'll affect our answers.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:42 PM on September 1, 2007

Sorry -- just to expand -- I think there's something a bit off by using common, somewhat-easy-to-find (SSN, not so much) data to protect online backups of documents that establish that data.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:48 PM on September 1, 2007

AxCrypt looks like it does what you need.
posted by chrisamiller at 5:50 PM on September 1, 2007

To correct a previous comment, Mozy is, in fact, free. It wouldn't hurt to install this program on your computer.
posted by mateuslee at 12:15 AM on September 2, 2007

Mozy's free for small archives, $5 a month for unlimited storage. You mentioned archiving your birth certificate - be aware, when archiving your birth certificate, that most places which will require a copy of it for anything legal will only accept an "official" copy from the county that issued the original - printing one yourself from your archives typically won't be sufficient. So if you're looking for safe storage of a birth cert, a safe or safe deposit box is probably a better bet.
posted by pdb at 12:33 AM on September 2, 2007

Is Keep You Safe what you are looking for?
posted by hannahq at 12:48 AM on September 2, 2007

Truecrypt your file (or zip your folder and then truecrypt it) and then send it to your gmail account.

Voila, on-line secure archive.
posted by zippy at 1:02 AM on September 2, 2007

I use (nagware - free or $9.95) Signature 995's Standard Encryption Module to encrypt PDF documents all the time. The advantage is they can be opened by anyone with Acrobat Reader and the password.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:40 AM on September 2, 2007

Encrypt with GPG and store anywhere (email to self even with a gmail account or the like). Store in numerous places in case something goes wrong.
posted by Brian Puccio at 8:21 AM on September 2, 2007

Semi-OT, but could I just recommend that, if you're going to encrypt the data, you go with something that isn't totally obscure? Nothing would be worse than, three years down the road, needing those files and not having any way to decrypt them.

(At the very least, burn a copy of the encryption software you use to a CD and place it in a safe place. I suppose it'd make more sense to store it online along with the files you're storing, though.)

(Further off-topic, but I don't believe photocopies of your birth certificate or social security card are legally recognized. It's probably still good to have a copy in a safe place, but just be aware that it might not carry any weight if you lose the original.)

On-topic: I vote for GMail and just e-mailing yourself the documents. Frankly, if I were in your situation, I probably wouldn't even encrypt the files, although that carries an obvious risk. But I think they're safer on, say, GMail than they are on your desktop, where a virus or hacker could easily access them. I'd definitely encourage you to encrypt them, my point is just that you probably don't need to be too paranoid with security.
posted by fogster at 8:35 PM on September 2, 2007

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