Important files

How to Secure Important Documents

Losing important documents can be a nightmare. Imagine just misplacing a piece of paper but having to go through a lot of processes and procedures to retrieve them. That’s how binding pen and paper is.

Plus, there are some documents you’ll need 10, 20, even 50 years from now.

Files like wills, birth certificates, marriage certificates, contracts are the kinds that your children or other beneficiaries will need access to in the future. No matter how careful we are, the possibility of losing a document is still ever-present. We never know what’s going to happen.

So even if storing your important documents on top of your office desk seems like a good idea right now, you might want to be extra careful. Where exactly is the safest place to keep your important documents? Here are some tips.

Scan

Scan all your printed documents so you have a backup digital copy of them just in case something happens to the printed version. But you have to be wary of this. Computers don’t always store data securely. There’s a chance it can get accidentally deleted or worse, accessed by a third party without permission.

Prevent these problems by investing in security software like Office 365 document protection. This will help secure and back up important documents and decrease the risks. A basic level of protection is by setting up a password for your laptop or mobile phone.

It adds an extra line of defense in case your device gets stolen. Some devices have a feature that deletes all the data and files in case of a certain number of failed attempts. This will keep all your documents secure from strangers. But make sure you have your files backed up in another place.

Make copies of digital documents

Many people email copies of digital documents to themselves. It seems like a good idea because then you’ll have them stored in a cloud and can access them anytime, anywhere. But the times have changed.

Because of the prevalence of hackers and data theft, clouds are no longer 100% secure.

Storing important documents on your email inbox will run the risk of strangers being able to access important files. And forgetting your email password is very possible too. Make several copies of your documents and store them in secured hard drives or memory cards.

To further secure them, make sure it’s encrypted in case they get lost or stolen. Photocopy physical documents too. And make sure you don’t keep the original copy and photocopy in the same place. In case one of them gets lost or is destroyed, at least you have a backup copy.

Safety deposit box

Safety box

If you feel like you’re not reliable enough to keep important documents secure, it’s time to turn to the professionals. Most people store valuable documents and items on safety deposit boxes, which are typically found in banks.

These safety deposit boxes are very secure because they’re built to withstand natural calamities, and it’s almost impossible for a thief just to come waltzing in to steal your files. There are a number of safety procedures and protocols followed.

The bank has strict policies regarding access and has identity verification features as well to make sure you and your designated beneficiary are the only ones who can open the safety deposit box.

You might think you’ve done a good job disaster-proofing all your documents. But you never know what could happen. You still have to take additional safety precautions.

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