How to Keep Your Important Documents Safe

Whether it is your birth certificate, marriage certificate, or child custody papers, the list goes on. It is essential that they are kept safe in case they are needed in the future. It doesn’t matter if you are keeping them in your home or at the office.

Wherever you are storing your important documents you ought to make sure they are secured and will not easily be tampered with by any third party, altered, or destroyed by natural elements like sunlight, rain, or even fire.

However, the good news is that in this article, you will learn how you can keep your important documents safe by storing them either physically or online. So, without much further ado, let’s get started with what we have for today!

How to Keep Important Documents Safe at Home

Our homes are filled with a lot of things both the ones still in use and the ones that are not. Unfortunately, most people overlook important things like their documents and files. It can be a risky business to lose a thing as important as a birth certificate, estate planning documents, or even bank statements.

That said, here is how to keep important documents safe at home:

Keep Documents and Files in a Secure Location

Every home should have a secure place where important things can be kept for future use. It could be a special room, safety deposit box, or drawer. Look for that one place in your house you know is safe to keep your documents and files.

It should be a location where members of your family do not often go otherwise, it can easily get missing, and if they are thin paper documents they can get torn, wet, or deteriorate over time hence losing their originality.

In addition, keeping your documents and files in a secure location ensures that you can easily find them whenever they are needed. For those who forget things easily this can be a perfect hack to always find your important stuff anytime you need them.

Moreover, You don’t have to start searching the whole house for your papers when you can simply go to where you kept them safe, secure, and in their original form. It can also be a time saver for you any day anytime

Use a Fireproof and Waterproof Safe

While it is necessary to keep your important papers in a safe location, it may not always be effective since anything can happen. In worst cases, during a fire outbreak, you may be liable to lose those documents.

So, for added protection, it is advisable that you use a fireproof or waterproof safe where you can keep your documents and be confident of their safety just in case of emergency situations that can not be predicted.

The reason why it is important to make use of fireproof and waterproof safe is that these safety tools are specifically designed to withstand harsh temperatures and damages that can be caused by water spillage and many more.

A typical example of these safety tools is the Sentry Safe H0100 Fireproof Waterproof Safe that can protect your belongings in a fire for up to 1 hour at 1700°F and is also waterproof for up to 24 hours in up to 8 inches of water.

How to Keep Important Documents Safe Online

Now that you already know how best you can keep your important documents and files safe at home, it is also very important that you know how to keep them safe online. The best part is that storing your documents online is even better and more secure than keeping them at home or the office.

Let’s quickly check how to keep important documents safe online:

Create Digital Backups

We are in the computer age and we ought to do things differently than what used to be in the past. Nowadays, you can easily back up anything that seems valuable to you in order not to lose them, from pictures to videos to chats to important documents and so much more.

You can save these electronic copies on an external hard drive, digital storage cabinet, or cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Cloud so you don’t lose them if your computer gets stolen, crashes, or is infected with viruses.

In this situation, you have nothing to lose as you have done the needful. You don’t have to keep losing your important stuff when you can make digital backups of them online using your smartphone or laptop.

Creating digital backups ensures that you can always have a copy of the original item at any time. Aside from that, you do not need to keep physical copies of your documents since you have already stored them online. You can also access your documents from anywhere and on any device.

Use Password Protection on Sensitive Documents

Using password protection is one of the smartest suggestions to keep your documents safe from hackers. It is an effective idea because your documents can not be tampered with if the person does not have or knows the supposed password.

Meanwhile, when creating a password, it is important to create something that can not be easily guessed. Never create easy passwords using common words, phrases, or numbers. It could provide scammers easy access to your documents.

Here are some common tips for creating strong passwords:

  • Never use easy-to-guess phrases, words, or numbers unless you are including other special characters.
  • Do not use items that relate to your personality like your name, profession, etc.
  • Make use of uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Include multiple numbers and special characters to enhance difficulty such as ($,%,&,#,@), etc.
  • Make use of at least between 8 to 10 characters. You can even use more as the case may be. The longer the better!

Shred No-Longer in Use Documents

Shred old documents you no longer use again. It is a good idea to do so occasionally to know which documents need to be protected. Every document has its own time when it will no longer be needed. At that point, they should either be deleted or taken away.

For example, your bank statements should be shredded once you have reconciled them with your records or once you have reviewed them for any suspicious activities. Keeping your bank statements for too long can put you at risk for identity theft.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to shred your paystubs once you no longer need them. For tax purposes, the IRS recommends keeping your paystubs for at least three to seven years. Once it has exceeded that time, you can shred them to protect your personal information.

Of course, if you’re using a digital system to store your paystubs, you don’t need to worry about shredding them. But it’s still a good idea to delete them from your computer or mobile device once you no longer need them as they could be stolen.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Ensure Safe Keeping of My Documents?

There are many ways you can safely keep your documents and one of such is storing them in a secure location in your home or office. You can also make use of fireproof or waterproof safe to protect your documents from emergencies like floods, or fire outbreaks.

If that’s not enough, you can save your documents digitally on cloud storage services as we earlier mentioned. In addition, make sure you encrypt your files, use password protection, and set up two-factor authentication for added security of your important documents.

Where Can I Store Documents Online for Free?

You can store your documents online for free on Microsoft OneDrive but the downside is that it is only capable of containing data of over 2GB storage. With the Microsoft OneDrive, you can rest assured that your documents and files are safe and you can always find them anytime you need them.

However, the best overall cloud storage provider we recommend for you to store documents online for free is Google OneDrive which allows you to enjoy free storage space as much as 15GB. Other cloud storage services include Dropbox, Sync.com, and Egnyte Connect.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to keep your documents safe can not be overemphasized. It is something that everyone should learn how to do if they have something that seems too valuable to lose. You may not need those papers at the moment, but how about in the future?

Whether you prefer keeping your documents at home, or office, or storing them online, it is important that you do so effectively to prevent them from getting breached, stolen, destroyed by natural causes, or lifted by a third party.

Fortunately, this article has provided you with everything you need to know about keeping your documents safe till you need them, whether sooner or later. The tips shared are effective so make sure you implement them for the safety of your documents.

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