When to Keep Digital vs Physical Copies of Important Documents

Thursday, August 26, 2021 6:44 pm, Posted by Absolute Destruction

You might have a preference for how you store your important documents. Some people like to put physical copies in files, while others prefer everything digitized. There are pros and cons for each method, and there is no wrong way to save your data. 

Whether you’re storing work or personal documents, there is always a data breach risk, primarily due to the unfortunate escalation of cyber-attacks and identity theft. Since both saving methods consist of risks, it can be helpful to decide where to store them on a case-to-case basis.

Types of Important Documents

There are many different types of essential documents that you may need to store. From birth certificates, marriage licenses to business ownership documents, you may store sensitive data in your home or office. If you have too many physical documents, you may need to hire professional shredding services in Toronto to save yourself from a data breach.

Although certain documents are essential, if you have a digital copy of them already, it may be best to discard the physical copy. Since physical copies possess the risk of getting damaged, misplaced, or stolen, it is in your best interest to dispose of those papers.

Keeping Physical Copies

You may feel the urge to save physical copies of some documents. If you feel that your computer network is not secure, you might want to lock away sensitive documents and ensure they are not available online. However, this can increase your chances of becoming a target for identity theft which can incur many losses. If you wish to store physical copies of contracts or tax papers, be extra cautious and discard them when your work with them is complete.

When you want to throw away physical copies of items, you might toss them into the trash can. Unfortunately, since identity thieves flick through garbage cans, that may become an issue. You should get physical documents professionally shredded or scan them and save them on a digital platform to avoid misplacement. 

Storing Data Digitally

Storing data digitally also comes with its risks. If a hacker gains access to your computer or network, you might suffer from damage in that aspect too. However, there are security measures you can take to stop that from happening. You can use multi-factor authentication processes, antivirus software and avoid using unfamiliar networks. You can benefit from storing digital copies of school records, credit card history, or service work receipts.

To be on the safer side, you can also get digital data destruction services when you need to dispose of sensitive information saved on your computer. Data destruction will allow you to rest assured that no one can gain access to your confidential information. Storing data digitally also saves you the costs of getting a security box, in addition to buying paper and ink.

Data Saving Timeframe

It can be tricky to decide how long to store your documents since you don’t know when you need them. However, it would help if you decided based on the types of documents you need to save or eliminate. For example, you should save documents that you need for taxes until tax season is over. After you do your taxes, you can discard those papers. Similarly, you can keep papers for warranties until the warrantied period is up.

When your timeframe for storing data is over, hire professionals to destroy and recycle those documents. If you try to dispose of important documents yourself and leave any trace, you might be at risk of a data breach or identity theft. Try to take precautions to stay safe and secure, despite the method you use to save essential documents.

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