Have you ever seen advice that seems to come from a reliable source... that just slaps you in the face with stupidity? A colleague of mine (whom would know a little something about travel) Ed Bellis (http://twitter.com/ebellis) posted this to Twitter - and I just had to slap myself to believe it.
JohnnyJet.com is actually advocating that you scan your passport and driver's license and email it to yourself. Worse yet, you should email it to a friend!
I can't tell you the number of things wrong with this recommendation... but I can tell you that it's just stupid... here's why:
- Email isn't "secure"... and your passport and government-issued ID is your entire identity! How many times recently have we seen email hacked... not just hacked but passwords guessed and maybe worse? Let's think for a second, you should absolutely never, ever, ever email yourself (especially using any of the public free webmail options) anything critical like your passport or photo ID.
- Why would you EVER give your friend (unless you trust them with your life, literally) all of your personal information. Do you know for a fact that they're going to treat it as a super-sensitive piece of information to be guarded at all cost? I seriously doubt it.
- If you're traveling to a foreign country - always register yourself with the local US Embassy first thing upon arrival. That way, even if you DO lose all your identification, you can at least get your way home.
- Never, ever, ever send sensitive information like your passport (especially your passport) or government-issued photo ID over non-encrypted, strongly authenticated email. Ever. Was that clear? If you are going to do something like this... (and I don't advise is) I recommend using a service like HushMail.com -which at least encrypts and forces stronger authentication.
- DO make a copy of your personal identification such as your photo ID and passport, but store it on an encrypted memory stick... in your fire-proof combination safe in your HOME.
- IF you're going to store things online there are many "online secure storage" options... Google them. I will do a write-up at a later date on these, stay tuned.