NinjaPigeon - My Flight to Financial Independence

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Financial Security

Okay, so in this post I mentioned that I was going to buy a shredder and a USB thumb drive. I'd been waiting to buy them until a decent price was available.

So, this Saturday I hit up the local Staples and guess what was on sale? That's right - both of them! So I got a light-duty, crosscut shredder and a 1GB thumb drive. They both came with an easy rebate, which I was skeptical of at first, as rebates are generally shady in my experience. However, the easy rebates are done online and it took less than 5 minutes. It also allows you to track the progress online. Shibby!

So, with my new shredder in hand, I started shredding my backlog of sensitive papers. I got rid of some old insurance papers as well as some health realted papers. I'll sleep a lot better knowing that stuff isn't sitting in a dumpster somewhere with my personal information on it!

As for the thumb drive, I first downloaded this great encryption program. Not only does it let me encrypt the entire thumb drive, but it can even hide an encrypted volume inside another one! I'm not sure I need that level of security, so I stuck with the basic setup. But it's good to know how versatile the program can be.

The only downside I see to the way I set it up is that since the drive appears to have random data, if you try to access it without using the special program, Windows XP will ask you to format it. Obviously I'm not gonna make that mistake, but someone else who snagged the drive might. So I'll have to be careful.

I am gonna use the new drive to store all my old financial statements (since I now print them all straight to pdf!) and my net worth spreadsheet. Once I get a little more comfortable with the idea, I'll delete the backups from my other computer. This way, my financial information isn't sitting on a computer exposed to the internet. I can just pull out the thumb drive when I'm not using it. And I can burn encrypted backup CDs and store them in my sister's safety deposit box.

Nifty, eh?


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