Are you careful with your personal records?

This is the seventeenth in a weekly series where I, Jonathan Frakes, ask the Drowned In Sound community questions taken from the show Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction which I hosted from 1998 - 2002.

Are you careful with your personal records?
  • Very careful
  • I am careful
  • A bit careful
  • Not really
  • Not at all

0 voters

Did anything ever happen which made you change how careful you were? Are there any tips you can give others to make them more careful with these sorts of things?

Should probably shred more things that I chuck in the paper waste but it would be a very boring identity for someone to try to steal so it’s ok

At a uni freshers event, I was a bit nervous so when someone casually asked where I was living, I just recited the entire address


Most stuff is digital nowadays, so I’m able to keep it in cloud storage with 2FA and use a secure password manager also with 2fa to keep it safe. For stuff that arrives in the post, I scan it, add it, then shred it. If it’s something that needs to be kept secure, I keep it in a file at home. Potentially should keep it a bit more secure, but that would require some thinking and work.

Not at all. Don’t have anything to steal and everything’s easily found online anyway so who cares.

Back when I lived in London, my apartment got broken into one day. They didn’t get much of my stuff, but got more of my housemate’s stuff. They opened accounts on credit with my passport which required some explaining, but wasn’t such a big issue. My housemate moved out not that long afterwards and I bumped into him again a few years later. Was mortified to hear that over the last few years he’d been to court multiple times proving that things done in his name were not done by him. They had so much of his personal identification documents that companies wouldn’t believe that they hadn’t done their due diligence. Absolute nightmare scenario and changed my document storage habits forever afterwards.

Always a mad search around the house if I need my passport or something. No idea where it ever is. Has been found with the cereal, in the breadbin, in the makeup cupboard, in whatever shorts I was wearing when I last got a plane, in a bag for life.

It’s exciting to think where it might show up next.

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Jesus. What should we be doing to avoid that?

I’m only getting two year passports atm cos I’ve lost so many

They got his passport, birth certificate, bank statements… and were targeting it to use it maliciously. It’s rare, but not unheard of. Personally I shred any document I don’t need for tax purposes. I assume anything in my house could potentially be stolen at any moment. I know this sounds a bit extreme, but that personal experience just makes it very real to me.

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On a school trip to Naples I found out I’d dropped my passport in the airport because a man had picked it up, was wandering around the airport in shouting my first name (he didn’t speak English) and my friend had overheard him

Nearly left my passport in a hostel in Vilnius because they took them off us when we arrived for safekeeping. I got to the bus station to go to Riga on my pre-booked coach and luckily had enough time when I got there and realised my passport was still in the hostel to get a taxi there and back and only be a minute late for the bus; they held it because I’d pre-booked. They were very cross with me for delaying departure but oh well.