Secure Document Storage

SentrySafe Fire Safes

A majority of our most valuable identity documents (passports, birth and death certificates, wills, trusts, deeds, brokerage information, passwords, health records, etc.) are exposed to identity theft (and natural disasters, such as fire and floods) as they sit in unlocked filing cabinets, banking boxes in the basement, office drawers or out in the open, on our desks. I spend an entire chapter in Privacy Means Profit talking about which documents to lock up, which to destroy and which to stop at the source. To complicate matters, the problem of data theft goes beyond paper documents to digital media. More than ever we need to be concerned with the physical protection of hard drives, cell phones, thumb drives, CDs and DVDs with sensitive personal or business data on them.

The answer is to purchase a fire-resistant (and possibly flood resistant) safe that will allow for the protection of your physical identity assets. These safes come in all sizes and shapes. Some are meant for the home and some are meant for businesses.

Think of it this way. Your identity is probably worth something close to $300,000 (even if your credit is poor), not to mention the value of the data (customer records, employee information, intellectual capital) you house in your business. Spending a few hundred dollars to lock up the keys to your identity is absolutely a no-brainer.

Here are several of the recommendations I cover in the book:

  • Able to withstand 1500° F for 30 minutes
  • Lockable by key or combination
  • Heavy enough to discourage theft or be secured to the ground
  • Preferably waterproof (where there’s fire, there’s water)
At home, I prefer to use the SentrySafe stackable filing cabinets because they allow me to expand my storage capacity as I protect more and more of my identity (I now store bank and brokerage, mortgage and phone documents in a fire safe, as one of the top forms of identity theft is committed by the people who clean, paint and visit our homes). In the office, I utilize the larger fire-resistant filing cabinets as well as a more traditional commercial safe (for valuables, photos, cash on hand, as well as important business identity assets like articles of incorporation, tax documents, etc.). I hope that someday Sentry invents a safe that will protect my CD-ROMs, DVDs, tape backups, and digital assets.
John Sileo speaks professionally on identity theft, data breach and social networking safety. His clients include the Department of Defense, the FDIC, FTC, Pfizer and the Federal Reserve Bank. Learn more about bringing him in to motivate information privacy inside of your organization.
1 reply
  1. rosemarydortiz
    rosemarydortiz says:

    Having a secure document storage for your files is really an essential needs. It makes you feel more convenient that no one will access the important files and you are more comfortable to leave your files because it is in a safe place.

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