In response to last week’s Backup Reminder, Loyal Reader MKR wrote:
I use a very simple approach to backup my files, unless they are very large. I have a Gmail account and I e-mail a message to myself with an attachment. The message and attachment are stored on the servers of Gmail.
Recently, when one of my friends was planning to travel abroad, I told him to scan the important pages of the passport and tickets and email them to himself. If ever they lose the passport and tickets anywhere in the world, they can retrieve a copy from anywhere so long there is access to Internet.
This is important since one of my friends lost the passport and other papers in Frankfurt on the way to India. On reaching India, the airport authorities needed some evidence before admitting her. Her husband faxed a copy of the passport to the airport in India and then only she was allowed to enter. The above simple solution would have easily solved the problem.
Back in the olden days, we used to make photocopies of our passports and carry them separately from the passports themselves. That still works, but I still like this solution as a supplement, if not necessarily a replacement, to the old-fashioned method of passport backup.
It’s not likely to be very helpful if you’re in the middle of the desert with no Internet access (and no printer), but then again, most people who check your passport probably won’t be in the wilderness.
If you’re not confident the documents will be private enough stored in your Gmail account, you can always put them on your own FTP server, but that requires a higher geek-score than just sending yourself an e-mail does.