Digitizing your most important documents, such as financial information, estate planning documents, or insurance policies, is a sensible thing to do. Paper records are cumbersome to store, and they can get lost or stolen. When you use a document-sharing tool like FidSafe, information is accessible anytime and anywhere, as long as you have an internet or mobile connection. It’s also easy to share documents with people you trust, whether that’s a family member, lawyer, or financial advisor.

When digitizing your documents and utilizing a document-sharing tool, it is important to take the right precautions that will keep your information secure. Here are four best practices:

  1. Create a strong password. A good password has several characteristics. It should be difficult to guess – avoid using your birth date. Strong passwords are composed of a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Reusing passwords for multiple accounts is a common security pitfall for many people. If one account is breached, then the other accounts that use the same password are also at risk of being breached.
  2. Use a tool that supports two-step verification. Online tools with two-step verification (also referred to as “two-factor authentication”) confirm your identity by using a combination of two “factors” or pieces of information. When you log in to the system, you’re required to provide more than just your username and password. The second factor may be a temporary unique code sent to your mobile device or email, or answers to personal security questions.
  3. Check activity logs. Digital document-sharing tools frequently include activity logs that record the different actions taken by your account. Be sure to periodically check activity logs for unusual activity to ensure that no one else has accessed your account.
  4. Implement access control to minimize unauthorized viewing of information. You may want to restrict document access to certain individuals. For example, you may decide to give your family members access to your estate planning documents, while your financial advisor only has permission to access your financial documents. Some digital document-sharing tools offer different levels of access control, such as file download restrictions.

It’s a good idea to review your FidSafe account frequently. As you regularly review and organize your documents, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Use FidSafe’s folders, notes, and tags to easily find files. This is a great way to confirm that all your important documents have been uploaded and are up to date.
  • Check that the right people have access to the right files. You can search in FidSafe by the names of those with whom you’ve shared documents.
  • Decide whether to revoke document access. For instance, you may have shared a document with someone previously who now should no longer have access to that information.

By following these simple guidelines, you can feel confident that your digital documents are secure and readily accessible when and where you need them.