How Safe Are Your Family’s Important Documents?
The security of our family’s important documents isn’t something we think about all too often. In the middle of all the other tasks that make up modern life, it’s rare that we’ll suddenly have an urge to get all the important details in order, especially if there’s no immediate need to. However, ensuring that the family’s important documents are safe is important: it’ll help prevent headaches if you suddenly need one and can’t find it and will also help to avoid fraud – and save you the cost of replacements. Below, we take a look at five ways you ensure everything is in order.
Keeping the documents safe begins with proper storage. You shouldn’t have your identity cards and birth certificates and such just stuffed into any old draw: they should be in a specially designated spot in the home. If you have space and some extra cash lying around, consider investing in a safe. Not only will a safe mean you always know where the important documents are: it’ll also keep them safe should someone illegally enter your home, and will also protect them from a fire or flooding, too.
Digitize What You Can
Sometimes, you’ll have to take things outside of your home, such as your passport. If you’re not traveling internationally and are just using your passport for identification purposes, call ahead and ask if they’ll accept a paper copy that you’ve scanned into your computer. It’s a good idea to do this anyway, especially if you’re traveling. That way, you won’t be completely helpless if your passport is stolen. It’s good practice to scan anything that will scan, so you can refer to them without having to find the original.
Have an E-Copy
Of course, with the development of technology and the internet, there has come new ways to store our important documents. There are a number of secure apps that you can download, which will enable you to access your documents while you’re on the move (just make sure you thoroughly research any apps that you download, as they won’t all be equally secure). It’s always worth researching whether your country offers an electronic option of an identity card. In India, citizens can get e-version of their identity number through a download Aadhar card website; a similar system is also available to citizens of Germany, Spain, and Italy, among others. In the States, you can request electronic copies of your tax returns.
Have a Filing System
Not every document will be as important as your passport, identity card, or birth certificate, but should still be kept safely stored away. You’ll never know when you might need your financial records, pay slips, car information, and housing deeds and the like, so develop a filing system so that they can be easily retrieved as and when they’re needed.
Replace Everything As Soon As Possible
If you have to use one of your documents, make sure you put as soon as you’ve finished using it. If something is missing, begin the process of getting a replacement as soon as possible. That way, you – or your family – will never be stuck just because they can’t find a piece of paper.