There are some documents whose importance weighs heavy on our shoulders. Being responsible for them can feel like a burden because losing them would have real and severe repercussions. Passports, birth certificates, death certificates, deeds… All these must be carefully safeguarded to stop them from falling into the wrong hands and make sure they’re easily accessible when needed.
So, how can you best do that?
Keep digital backups
The digital world is one in which the majority of people now feel at home. While we know it has its shortcomings, it has many upsides too – key among them is that it exists in the abstract. Unlike physical documents, which can be lost, stolen, burnt, and so on, digital documents are intangible.
That’s why keeping digital backups is a good idea, whether you choose to store these in the cloud or on a USB. According to ExpressVPN, they’re a vital component in any tech survival kit. Documents you may consider backing up include the likes of passports and birth certificates, deeds, licenses, and insurance details. These imperative documents being stored in a digital space ensure that, no matter what happens, you can prove who you are and what you own. In addition, you can choose to print items for the benefit of job applications or simply pull the documents up from a mobile device, if this is more convenient.
Hire a safe deposit box
As well as keeping digital backups, it’s recommended that you hire a safe deposit box to keep your most important documents protected. These are available from a range of sources, from banks to credit unions, and are typically kept in spaces designed to withstand everything from fire to flood.
It’s up to you what you keep in your safe deposit box, but it’s not only documents you can store. Investopedia actually has a handy article on what to keep in one. Irrespective of what yours contains, only authorized individuals will be able to access it, meaning the contents are safe from thieves too.
The one downside is you won’t necessarily have easy access, so if you need a particular document, you’ll have to travel to where it’s kept to retrieve it.
Invest in a home safe
For any documents you’d prefer to have close to hand – or any copies of originals – you might want to invest in a home safe. While this likely won’t be up to the same standard as a safe deposit box, there are many good models on the market.
The trick to choosing the right one is to do your research, so make sure you know what you’re looking for before you purchase. You’ll need, at a minimum, a safe that locks securely and is designed to be fireproof (to guard against theft and natural disasters). This article from WikiHow highlights how a safe can be covered and hidden.
If the safe you choose has an access code, make sure you only share it with people you can trust and/or who also need access.
Buy a shredder
For anything you don’t need to keep, it’s worth buying a shredder. This is useful for safely disposing of bank statements, utility bills, old credit cards, and so on – essentially, anything that could be used to steal your sensitive information. You must make sure these types of documents are never left lying around or carelessly thrown away without first being shredded.
When it comes to keeping your most important documents safe, there are lots of ways to do it. It’s all about understanding the risks and learning how to circumnavigate them, which this article can help you with. Use it as a guide to keeping your sensitive information both protected and accessible.