When it comes to your personal financial information, it's better to put in the work to keep it safe and secure rather than deal with the hassles of its theft or loss. You can take some steps to ensure your personal financial information is available when you need it and kept far away from prying eyes.
Online Digital Storage
In this technological age, online digital storage can be a tremendous convenience for the everyday consumer. Google Drive is one example of a free service that allows you to store and access your personal financial files from any Internet-enabled device. You may also opt to go with subscription-based services that automatically back up personal files on your computer. NovaStor, Carbonite and Backblaze are a few subscription-based online storage providers that offer an added layer of encryption to protect your personal financial information. Your financial institution may also offer online services for storing sensitive data.
Safe Deposit Box
If you're not a fan of online digital storage, you can save and store your personal financial information the old-fashioned way. Safe deposit boxes have been around for ages, and most financial institutions follow strict security measures to protect the contents. You may store social security cards, wills, trusts, insurance paperwork and income tax returns inside. Banks normally charge a rental fee for the box and may insure the contents. Combine hard-copy storage with encrypted cloud storage to make sure you're covered no matter what.
A lock box can serve as an at-home complement to your bank safe deposit box. You can place copies of the documents that you keep at the bank in your lock box for safekeeping. Look for a fireproof version that uses a combination lock rather than a key so that only you or someone trusted with the combination can open it.
Before selecting a method of storing your personal financial information, consider when and how often you may need access to these documents. A safe deposit box at a bank may not be accessible on a weekend, for example. When it comes to online or cloud-based storage services, you'll want to understand how they protect or safeguard your data. If your data is not encrypted or password-protected, you may be at risk for identity theft.
Oneil Williams started writing professionally in 1993. He wrote for "The Sunday Gleaner" and the "Jamaica Observer," two newspaper publications in Jamaica, and immigrated to the United States in 1995. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in communication from the University of Central Florida.