The thought of losing important documents, cherished heirlooms, or other valuables can be a nightmare. It’s vital to protect these things from being lost or damaged so that nightmare doesn’t become a reality. Fortunately there are a variety of options that can be used to keep the important things in your life safe.
The first thing you want to do is make a list of the things you want to protect. It could be photos, jewelry, birth certificates, diplomas, hard drives, etc. Once you have that list start researching your options. In this blog post we’ll get you started in that brainstorming process.
Safes are a great way to keep your valuables protected, but not all safes are created equal. Size, security features, damage resistance are all things to look for in a safe. Affordable home/office safes can be purchased at places like Walmart or Office Max. Some safes may be fireproof, some have more complex locks, and some can be mounted with large bolts for added security. Whatever you buy make sure to get something that is large enough for what you want to store. Even though a safe may be fire resistant the inside can still get extremely hot when be careful what you store inside as things like hard drives may still get damaged from intense heat. As a tip you should keep an inventoried list of all the things you have in your safe as a hard copy in the safe as well as in another location like on your computer protected by a password.
Safety Deposit Box:
As an alternative to having a safe at home or in the office, most banks and credit unions offer safety deposit boxes as a service. While you have to pay a service fee to use them, they are often more secure than what you can provide in your own home. They are however less convenient to use if you have to access your valuables regularly.
The nice thing about valuables that you can store digitally is that they can be protected through redundancy. Redundancy is basically making sure your data is duplicated and stored in multiple places. So you can have your files stored on your computer at home as well as in cloud storage. In the past 5 years cloud storage has become much more popular. Cloud storage is essentially a way to store your data online. There are quite a few free services that you can use from companies like dropbox, google, apple and microsoft. All of them also offer premium services with increased amounts of storage. Just know that if you do chose to use cloud storage you will need to have access to the internet to access your files. These companies also have security features to backup your backups to make sure your data isn’t ever lost if their storage has issues.
Digitize Old Photos/Videos/Audio:
Most everyone has some old photos in an album, home videos or cassette tapes that they would hate to lose. There are many companies that are dedicated to digitizing your memories for safe keeping. The beauty of digitizing these older formats is that you can now easily store them on hard drives and in cloud storage so you don’t have to worry about losing anything. Another advantage to this is that everything is much more easily accessed and organized. If you don’t want to mail your valuables to someone that provides this service look for local companies that offer high quality scanning, and digitization. You can also purchase your own equipment to do it yourself if you want to dedicate the time to doing it. Digitizing your valuables is a great way to preserve journals, photos, audio and any other types of documents. As a tip make sure that whoever is doing the digitizing puts the files in common formats so you don’t have to try to reconvert them in the future or use special programs or hardware to open them.
Some things like paintings that you want to keep on display may be more difficult to fully protect from damage. In cases like this you should consider getting insurance to compensate for your losses if anything ever does happen. It may also be good to get insurance for any of the items you would be storing in your safe. While insurance may not be able to replace any heirlooms it can lessen the blow and help you feel more secure.
There are other options out there but hopefully this list helps you start thinking of the valuables you want to protect and how you might protect them.