Digital safety: How to store your family’s important documents
The power of technology means you no longer need to store your documents in a physical safe in order to keep them secure. There’s a range of digital platforms where you can securely store your most important files – from passports to wills and everything in between. Here’s how.
Storing your documents digitally – the way of the future
Document management has long been a staple of businesses who operate online, but it is becoming increasingly common for everyday people to secure their sensitive files in the cloud too. In fact, by 2025 there will be a whopping 200 zettabytes stored globally, with half of that living in the cloud.
But even though it’s easy to store your important documents online, you still need to do your due diligence and practise some tried-and-tested cybersecurity strategies.
Here are four considerations for securely storing your documents online.
1. Research different platforms that provide document storage
There’s a huge range of online storage platforms that you can choose from, so do a bit of research to find one that is right for you. Many will have free versions, although for peace of mind and more capacity to store large files, you may decide to go with a paid version.
All the big tech players like Microsoft (OneDrive), Google (Drive and One) and Apple (iCloud) have their own online storage solutions. There are also popular platforms that have been around for years, such as Dropbox and Adobe Document Cloud.
Depending on your needs, you may also want to investigate what type of cloud service each provider offers. Generally, there are four different types of cloud storage – public, private, personal and hybrid – so you will need to factor in your own storage needs when making a decision.
2. Be smart about passwords
Did you know that one of the most common reasons for being hacked is having a poor password that is easy to guess? When storing your files digitally, you will want to ensure your password is complex (lots of numbers, symbols and letters, including upper and lowercase) and is unique to your online storage profile. That means don’t use the same password across all your other logins.
It may also be suitable to get a password manager, which keeps all your usernames, passwords and their associated websites locked up in a ‘digital vault’ that is only accessible by you.
3. Consider each platform’s accessibility
Just like forgetting the combination to a physical safe, storing your important documents online won’t be much help if you can’t access them easily. It’s recommended that you do a trial run of a few different platforms to see which ones are user-friendly and let you navigate to your documents without any headaches.
Also consider other features that are provided in your chosen solution. Does it have a mobile app so you can view your documents on-the-go? How often is there downtime on their system in order to complete updates – and will that affect your ability to access files? What level of customer support is provided, and can you speak to a live person 24/7?
4. Take care when storing your will digitally
When it comes to your will, it’s extremely important that it is stored somewhere safe and that your solicitor has details of the online storage provider. You should also let the executor or a loved one know how they can access your will in the event of your passing, according to Spiros Mihalatos Principal Solicitor/Partner at Mihalatos & Associates Solicitors.
“In relation to your will, the information you will need are the names of your executor(s), names of your beneficiary(ies) and the description of any assets or possessions that will be specifically distributed, instead of all assets generally going to one person, for example,” he says.
In terms of where you can store your will, he says: “NSW Trustee & Guardian offers to store wills digitally via WillSafe for additional security (for a fee). However, WillSafe only offers a single storage solution, which does not provide a place to store multiple copies of a will. There are other platforms such as Legalwill document storage, which offers to store a will with a payment for the length of time you would like to store it.” Make sure you get independent advice from a professional regarding storing an important document such as a will, because not all digital solutions will suit all circumstances – ideally, your will needs to also be stored in a variety of locations, such as with your lawyer and potentially your beneficiaries/executor.
Keeping important documents safe can give you peace of mind
Storing your important documents online isn’t just easy and secure, it can also give you peace of mind that your sensitive files are accessible no matter where you are in the world. And while you are taking the time to store your will digitally, why not check that your life insurance policy is up to date?
If you are looking to update your life insurance or take out a new policy, you can compare a range of life insurance options with Choosi today or call 1300 363 5261300 363 526.
Life is full of uncertainties. While we shouldn’t dwell on the worst that could happen, it makes sense to be prepared. Funeral Insurance can help protect your loved ones from the financial burden of having to pay for your funeral and other final costs. Explore options with Choosi, or call 1300 364 6191300 364 619.
15 Feb 2022