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Crime Hardware

Ask Slashdot: How To Secure My Life-In-A-Briefcase? 241

An anonymous reader writes "I used to travel with a book and some clothes in a backpack, and now my entire life fits into my briefcase. I have a laptop, a tablet, and a cell phone with access to all of my documents through Dropbox, and all the books I own are on my kindle. Aside from having about four grand in electronics, the bag has everything of value that I own. If that bag is stolen while I'm traveling, it will be more trouble than if my apartment burns down (while I'm not in it). What can I do to secure my life-in-a-briefcase?"
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Ask Slashdot: How To Secure My Life-In-A-Briefcase?

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  • Pelican 1490 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 13, 2012 @02:47PM (#39987637)

    I travel around the world, and this is the best case I have ever used. Well, my Pelican 1514 is a close second. :)

    It is waterproof, you can drop it or impact it and you don't need to worry about it, and it just works.

    You can also lock it, or lock it to something (in your apt when you are away). Don't lock it someplace at an airport and leave...

    I envy you in that you can fit everything in one case, I am trying to get down to one small car load with about 5-6 cases.

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nitewing98 ( 308560 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @02:50PM (#39987663) Homepage

    Kind of hard to get through airport security with a .45 on your person. Just sayin'.

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Sunday May 13, 2012 @03:09PM (#39987813)

    I'm follwing the cult of less myself, and while not all of my important stuff fits in a briefcase, it does fit into one room without it looking cramped or stuffed with junk - and I plan to reduce my stuff even more in the next few years.

    Here's what I do:
    My Hardware: MB Air, Mac Mini, HTC Flyer, HTC Desire HD
    My local storage: 2 HDDs for TimeMachine, 2 HDDs for redundant backup, storage and archiving
    My remote storage: Virtual Debian Server for word stuff versioned and synced with Git via SSH (roughly ten projects currently ... all my current work of the last year)

    Disaster recovery via TimeMachine, Backup via two extra redundant external USB 3 2.5" HDDs, FS is HFS non-journaled for easy access from linux. Regular offsite versioning, archiving and backups via Git or SCP for the stuff I work on, Backup from Computers to HDDs via rsync. I rely on the Mac OS X AES 128bit encryption of the MB Air SDD for data security. My calendar is on Google and syncs with both HTC devices (anonymous/fake account) and iCal on the MB, my contact data is only in my phone. Still thinking about wether a fresh copy of 'Missing Sync' is worthwhile.

    I store all my notes in Evernote. I have the Evernote client hooked to my Evernote account on all devices.

    My next move will be an rsync setup with some low-power netbook/nettop PC running linux that pushed the contents of the HDDs to my server (rented virtual server running debian).

    If my stuff gets stolen I've got my backups. If someone breaks into my room and steals the HDDs aswell I'm in deep shit - until I get my off-site routine running that is. I've been consolidating my data handling for about a year now and it will take another year or two until I've got it all in place, i.e.: Full and total off-site backup and desaster recovery preperation, fully redundant local backup, archiving and storage, zero-fuss cross-device automatic project syncing and fail-safe, secure contacts and calendering. ... I'm not to picky with encryption, the 128bit AES is enough for my taste. It's not that I work for the CIA or something.

    Hope that helped.

  • PacSafe bag cages (Score:4, Informative)

    by at.drinian ( 1180281 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @03:23PM (#39987909) Homepage
    There's a company called PacSafe that makes what are essentially collapsible wire cages you can wrap your bag in, and then chain the bag to something solid, like a drain pipe: [] That being said, I went around the world a couple of times without one of these, and did just fine. They tend to draw attention.
  • Re:Don't do this! (Score:5, Informative)

    by drkim ( 1559875 ) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @07:00PM (#39989679)

    Don't put your bag on the belt until the previous person has cleared the detector.

    There are actually teams of two that work this way:

    Bad#1 Walks through detector
    You put your stuff on the belt
    Bad#2 Gets delayed at the detector (Ooops! I forgot those keys)
    Bad#1 Picks up your stuff
    Bad#2 is visually distracting you, goes though the detector again, gets delayed, or finally clears
    Your stuff is long gone, as is Bad#1

  •     Parking lots after hours are a choice with no witnesses.

        If he stops at a store on a regular basis on the way home, that works too. A smash and grab takes seconds, while a trip into any store takes minutes. No one cares about car alarms, you can trigger it and walk away, and no one will notice, as long as you aren't wearing a ski mask and looking totally suspicious. I doubt he carries his gear into every store he goes to.

        Most people's driveways feel safe, but are anything but. In most communities, people are inside, and wouldn't hear a thing. If there is security, their job is to observe, not confront. At best, they'll patrol a specific segment of the community every hour. At worst, once a night.

        His home itself if fair game. A bump key or lockpick gun will get you through virtually any residential doors with minimal hassle. 3am when everyone is sound asleep is the riskiest time. The door can even be locked on the way out to add to the confusion.

        For 4 grand cash (assuming it can all be converted to cash quickly), a stolen car and a staged traffic accident will stop the vehicle and get him out of the car with his doors unlocked.

        You aren't truly safe anywhere. You feel safe. A determined attacker will exploit any time he can.

        The best thing to do is, don't say you're carrying thousands of dollars of gear around. Don't look like you're worth attacking. I frequently travel in jeans and a t-shirt, carrying a ratty backpack. Sometimes it'll have some books. Sometimes it'll have electronics. Sometimes I have enough firepower to pick a fight with a street gang (when going to the shooting range).

        I never look like I have anything worth stealing. When I am dressed to impress, with the necessary accessories, I'm traveling directly from point A to point B, where both locations are relatively secure.

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell