We move. Our stuff moves. Our information moves. And all of it moves fast. A lot faster than we have time to keep up with.
So, how do we handle it?
Sometimes we take time to prioritize, like if I just get these two or three things done, the rest won’t matter so much.
Other times, we don’t; doing whatever task is urgently in front of me and I will just work as fast as I can, hoping for the best.
Occasionally, we step back for a moment and look for tools to help manage the load, for instance giving Dropbox™, Evernote™ or Google Drive™ a try. I may move all my documents or important emails into a folder in one of these spots for “safe keeping” and sort it out later when I have time.
October is National Crime Prevention Month and, with major information security breaches like those at WikiLeaks and Equifax, addressing cyber-security can’t be a bad idea.
Our money, our stuff, our homes, our lives – they are all connected in this digital age more than ever before. It’s not hard to learn a whole lot about someone by knowing just a little.
While I am not a tech-security specialist by any means, I do review and utilize several technology tools as a way of managing and “organizing” my own life. As an organizing, productivity and relocation specialist, I can say that knowing how and where you keep track of your stuff using cloud storage is always the best, first step to keeping it secure.
Let me offer some tips to help you start making secure moves:
- Start by selecting one type of item to track. For instance, choose to create cloud storage files for all of your tax documents, family vital records, household goods, photos, or catalogues of jewelry. Pick one.
- If you’re moving, you may want to start with a home inventory program for household goods. My favorite is HomeZada. HomeZada has a free version, is easy to understand and use, it pre-populates some of the categories for you, and it allows you to add photos, descriptions and receipts. Encircle is another free inventory program that I would recommend for this.
- Investigate digital options that would be best for that type of inventory.
- For storing important documents, you’ll want to prioritize high security. You may also want a program that mimics your physical filing systems, with options for organizing digital ‘folders’. Some that are rated highly for their security are Sync, SpiderOak and Tresorit. Other top-rated and popularly used cloud-based document storage options are Google Drive, Box, EverNote, OneDrive for Microsoft, and iCloud for Mac. Personally, I like to use some of the smaller companies with high encryption standards, like SafelyFiled.
- Begin loading only that type of data into your program.
- If you choose to start with vital records, think about how you’ll like to access them. Do you want all the family birth certificates in one folder and deeds in another? I recommend a folder for each family member, one for each property, each vehicle, etc.
- Make it easily searchable.
- Make sure you “tag” and/or title each document so that it will be easy to find in the future. Use the person’s name, purchase dates and property locations.
Different programs can, and perhaps should, be used for storing different types of information.
Programs with highest level security for vital records, photo programs that ensure your proprietary rights, inventory programs whose structure is visually appealing, protected and easy to use.
There are other storage programs that I use on a more regular basis. While I do trust the security touted by these sites, I use them more for daily productivity. These are where I keep and share documents that, if ever compromised, would not result in any catastrophic devastation for myself or my family. My favorite, Google Drive, is my go-to for creating and sharing business ideas. I love Evernote for keeping family project information stored and shared with my husband.
Passwords are best when they are random. Lastpass is a program that helps with both managing your passwords and also creating randomized high security passwords. Lastpass remembers them for you so all you need to know is your, one Lastpass password.
Don’t lose your data because you haven’t backed up your computer or your phone. Set up automated backups to the storage sites you trust. Check out this article by JoyOfAndroid that offers step-by-step advise on what to do.
Can I trust the security on any of these programs? Well, if hackers can breach CIA records and credit reports, I doubt I can do much better. So, I will do my homework and make an educated decision. After that, I am just moving on.