Last night, somebody broke into my house and took my mobile phone, wallet (with bankcards and credit cards), and some other valuable stuff (but little of emotional value). Curiously, a laptop and passports where untouched. It awoke me again to the risks that are part of our highly IT dependent life.
Although the laptop was not taken, I felt very relieved that I had just completed installing Mozy on it. You don’t want to lose all your work, digital photography etc, in this way. Mozy is a remote backup service that I wrote about earlier. I am still very happy with it.
As for the importance of your digital identity: without money, bankcards or phone, you are more or less a nobody. I had to cancel my appointments because I effectively cannot travel.
I am a little uneasy about my mobile phone. It is in sync with my outlook contacts database, which means I have not lost any info. On the other hand, somebody now has a digital repository with details of hundreds of my contacts. It is a good thing I did not have any passwords stored in the device. I’ll pay close attention to the encryption and security features when I buy the replacement phone.
Finally, some documents were stolen with our social security numbers on them. Unlike mobile phone numbers or bank accounts, there is no way to revoke a social security number. It is a major ID theft risk to have these numbers published so widely. I don’t see the need for everybody and his brother to put this number on their cards.