Five Tips for Securely Storing Your Financial Files
Digitizing Your Financial Files? Follow These Steps
As the weather warms up, you may be in spring cleaning mode – which includes tidying up your financial files and deciding what to keep and what to throw away. Keeping up with paper records of everything from banking and investment statements to tax documents can be overwhelming.
Many individuals and small business owners have started to shift away from paper files and move to digital financial storage. However, the endless news headlines of data breaches and security hacks means there is still risk involved with storing your information in digital form.
Despite these risks, digitizing your financial files is a more modern way to keep your documents organized. You just need to take a few precautionary steps to ensure your e-documents are stored safely and securely.
Here are five tips to keep in mind when storing your financial files digitally:
- Receive e-statements. Sign up to receive paperless banking and investment statements. This will minimize the need to keep up with postal mail. Remember to update your settings to receive email or text notifications when statements are ready for review.
- Set up unique passwords. Be sure to password-protect all folders and documents that are stored on your computer or in the cloud. Make sure to use a password with alphanumeric symbols and both lower and upper case letters.
- Create backup access. If you upload your financial files to the cloud, make sure to implement a multi-step verification process. Set up a secondary backup email, enable text message verification or create security questions that only you know the answers to.
- Invest in anti-virus software. Don’t trust the cloud? You can also save your files directly on your computer. Make sure you have the most current anti-virus software installed to keep your local files safe.
- Use backup hard drives. Even if all your files are stored securely on your computer or in the cloud, things happen – technology can crash and no site is 100% invincible from hackers. Backup all your digital files on an external hard drive that is locked in a safe place.
The Bottom Line:
Digitizing your financial files can offer peace of mind from dealing with endless paper documents. But it’s still your responsibility to ensure these documents are stored in a safe and secure manner to limit exposure to fraud or identity theft.
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