I am a long-time Filofax user and a long-time Philofaxy lurker - what a wonderful blog!
I have been wondering for a while about the security of the information we note down in our Filofaxes, I would be interested to know whether others are concerned by this, and any steps that they take to mitigate the risks.
For many (most?) of us, our Filofax will contain many of the details we keep locked in our home filing cabinets and if it were to fall into the hands of a 'baddie' the repercussions could be grave.
The kind of issues that spring to mind are:
- My name and address together with my diary - shows when my house will be empty
- My name and address together with reference to key personal information (name of my pet, wedding anniversary etc) - could be used for identity theft
- The name, addresses, phone numbers and emails addresses of friends and family in my address book - could be used for the theft of their identity
- Details of the banks I use, dates of direct debits and amounts etc in combination with the above information - could be used to take money from my bank account (and possibly indicate my wealth)
- Details of internet passwords - could be used to access my online accounts and my online identity
Of course, the chance of this happening is slim and I have laid out the worst case scenarios to illustrate my case.
The same arguments could also be made about losing your phone or laptop. However, electronic devices require a password where a Filofax can be read instantly, and there are a variety of security apps that can be installed on electronic devices that aren't available for paper planners. It strikes me that Filofaxes are uniquely vulnerable because they inspire such intimacy from their users but could be accessed by anyone who has it in their hands.
There is a balance to be struck between maintaining a useful Filofax that contains all of the information that we need, and sharing details that could compromise our security, or those of others. There is also a balance to be struck between a state of reckless abandon and one of constant paranoia!
I don't believe that there will be many Filofax users who write out their on-line banking details in full under the Finance tab, but I do believe it is worth reflecting on the repercussions of losing your Filofax. I have read comments from Philofaxers who encrypt their login details before noting them down for example; I'd be interested to know of any other similar strategies that folk use.
Thank you Louise for your excellent question.