Three Ways To…
…Store and secure vital records electronically
By Bill Pfleging
Your vital records can now be stored digitally, making it both easier for you to manage and easier for bad guys to illegally access. Here's how to keep your will, insurance paperwork, marriage license and other critical data safe.
1. Use scanning software Scan Operator is a free-to-try (or $24.95 to buy) scanning software available online for any TWAIN compliant scanners. It lets you save scanned documents as one or more TIFF or PDF files. The interface is highly intuitive, and your documents can be generated into PDF format quickly for secure storage, with no complicated settings. Scan Operator works effectively and will likely become your favorite tool for highly effective digital document security and organization.
2. Encrypt with GoldKey Made by Wideband Corporation, this cool gold-colored device plugs into a USB port and can encrypt any files on your computer, whether internal hard drive, flash memory or external drive. The GoldKey-encrypted files can then only be accessed when: 1) the GoldKey is plugged in, and 2) the user provides the GoldKey PIN number. It can also support biometrics (as in fingerprints) for even greater security. Expect to pay $132 for a single GoldKey, with multiple-unit deals available. "GoldKey is the only encryption security system of its kind," said Joseph Billings, Wideband Corp. company president. "All are hardware, not software-driven."
3. Backup with Carbonite Carbonite automatically backs up the irreplaceable contents of your computer, then encrypts your files twice before backing them up securely offsite, using the same encryption techniques that banks use. Files remain encrypted at secure data centers, so only you can see them. Priced at $49.95 per year no matter how much data you need to back up, you can't afford to not use this service. "If I have to remember to do anything for backups, I'll never remember," said David Gross, accounts manager for a large wine and spirits wholesaler in New York. "Carbonite sets up in five minutes, and then works entirely in the background, needing no input from you. If you ever have to restore your data from a crash, as I have, then it's a simple matter."
Bill Pfleging writes about technology for national publications, such as ComputerWorld, Razor, and Inc. Pfleging is a tech columnist for a New York newspaper and co-author of The Geek Gap: Why Business and Technology Professionals Don't Understand Each Other and Why They Need Each Other to Survive.
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