Two Letters Re: Keeping Your Communications Private

After reading the recent SurvivalBlog article on “Keeping Your Communications Private” I went on eBay to see an endless variety of Flash drives that are very small and very camouflaged as to what they are. My wife and I will be going on a cruise later in the year and one of the cruise line’s suggestion is a flash drive to store copies of important documents.   I already do this for my BOB but I wanted something that we could carry that does not look like a flash drive. There were several options available at varying prices. I settled on purchasing a 2GB storage device that looks like a gift card/credit card and two that look like a leather wristbands. Naturally we will encrypt the information and put what ever programs might be needed to view the files, such as Open Office Portable and some sort of .pdf reader.   I read your post daily and enjoy them very much.   Thanks, – C.C. in East Texas

I am a QuickBooks consultant and bookkeeper. In this capacity,  I frequently need to transport a client’s data files (In addition to my own records). I became concerned about the possibility of identity theft and my own liability. The elements of employee information contained in the typical data file is all the thief requires to create havoc.

For some years I used password protected SanDisk USB flash drives only to discover that the encryption/decryption required the host CPU and was vulnerable to hacking. (Later a team discovered that one didn’t even need to hack the decrypt password but that’s another story).

After more searching I found the Ironkey Personal. The entire device is encased in epoxy inside a sturdy metal shell. This makes it Mil Spec + waterproof and tamper proof as well as (if capped and not plugged into a port) EMP resistant. Encryption is achieved via an onboard chip which will self destruct (Mr. Phelps) after 10 unsuccessful password entries. This leaves the contents forever scrambled beyond any reasonable recovery. Many other features. I store  QuickBooks and Quicken data files on the device and run the applications on a machine addressing the files directly on the IronKey. As a result when I log off and detach the device the current files are securely stored on the IronKey with no trace on the client machine.

Check it out. It is seriously secure. – W.D.