It doesn’t take much in this day and age to make a mistake that could cost you big time when it comes to your financial data. Personally, a few years back, I was transferring some financial information from my computer and made a slight error. That tiny mis-click cost me two years of tracked financial data. Needless to say, I wasn’t a happy camper that day.
Ever since then, I’ve made sure that I have multiple sources available to back up our financial information, since losing it could be costly in time, money, and financial security.
Computer backups of pertinent data aren’t infallible, but they are a start to ensuring the safety of our data. Not only do I have saved information on my computer, but I also keep a copy on a zip drive that’s on my keychain. This way, if there is a fire or break in while we are out, I still have a copy of valuable information with me. However, I keep this information (both on computer and zip drive) without passwords and account numbers since if either were lost or compromised, I wouldn’t want such information falling into the wrong hands.
Hidden hard copy
While technology is helpful in so many ways, it doesn’t mean that it’s a guaranteed protector of our personal and financial information. Malware and hackers can pose threats to our information that the common person just isn’t equipped to protect against. And with passwords, user names, and sometimes even PIN numbers needed for things like bank, email, and so many other online accounts, there are just too many to remember. This is why I keep an actual hardcopy of our passwords hidden safely in our home since I don’t trust keeping it on our computers or having a record of it maintained through a virus protection or other electronic accounts.
But all sorts of calamities – manmade or otherwise – can endanger the safety of our personal and financial data, and having some additional backup copies of such information can prove pertinent. A home fire, flood, theft, even building collapse in the event of an earthquake or sinkhole, could make it impossible to retrieve such data. This is why I also keep a backup copy in an off-site storage location – namely, our safe deposit box.
With this location largely secure from fire, theft and flood, I can keep not only documents like our Social Security cards, birth and marriage certificates, and similar items, but I can retain hardcopy and electronic backups of our financial data. In this way, I have copies that are kept off site and in a secure location separate from our home as a hedge against unexpected disaster.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.