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How to keep your documents secure and organized

Follow the simple tips below to ensure your documents are organized and easy for you to locate. 

ifile file manager
Image: YouTube

The great thing about technology is that it’s made work a lot easier. You can sit at your desk for a few hours and get through so much work. The only downside of this is you tend to generate hundreds of documents a month. This translates to thousands of documents a year, some of which are extremely important, others are not so vital.

Consequently, you’re in a position where you need to find ways of storing all of these documents. They have to remain safe, yet be easy for you to access. It also helps if you keep them as organized as can be, which makes it much simpler to find information.

Thankfully, we live in the tech era where there are plenty of possible solutions to this conundrum. If you’re keen to keep your documents secure and organized, here are a few ideas:

Encrypted Desktop Storage

The first idea is to use the storage system provided by your computer. Every computer has internal storage in the form of either a hard drive or an SSD. The advantage of storing your documents here is they are quick and easy for you to access. Just boot up the computer and use your file manager application to get what you need. You’re able to create separate folders for specific documents, which helps a lot with organizing things.

The downside of this option is it is probably one of the least secure in terms of how well your documents are protected. However, there’s a smart way to add some extra protection by encrypting your files. Adding encryption means that your data can’t be accessed or read unless you’ve given someone the authority to do so. It’s a fairly simple process and stops anyone from logging into your computer and accessing your files. If you have kids or you share a computer with someone else, this is a genuine concern.

Portable Storage Devices

A key drawback of desktop storage is that you can’t take it anywhere. All of your documents remain on one device and can only be access when you’re logged in to that device. This poses a problem if you don’t have your computer handy. For example, you may have a meeting with someone, but you can’t bring your desktop computer. So, all the documents you want to send them are stuck.

Portable storage devices offer a solution to this specific issue. You can use USB sticks, portable hard drives, or even memory cards. From here, you can move documents onto these devices and store them safely. Be sure you always keep your computer plugged into a power source when saving documents on a portable device. Why? Because you can corrupt the data if your PC suddenly turns off. Again, you can also encrypt the data on your portable devices to give them some extra security. Or, you can go another step further and protect your device with a passcode.

Overall, the benefits of portable storage devices are that they give you the same security and organization of desktop storage, but you can carry your documents with you. The only downside is you could easily lose vital documents if you lost your storage device. This is why it’s always important to keep your documents on more than one storage platform.

Physical Server

a picture of a virtual private network with cords plugged in

Image: Unsplash

Next, you can save your documents on a physical server. Now, this option is usually reserved for businesses with a server room. In essence, you have an actual server in your office, which all the computers are connected to. Instead of saving documents on each device, they get saved on the server. This way, other people in the office can access the documents if required. It can really help with productivity issues as you don’t have to waste time finding a document, sending it to someone, and so on.

This is considered one of the most secure options as servers have far better security capabilities than a desktop computer or portable device. It also lets you use different computers and still have access to all of your documents. The obvious downside is the cost of buying and setting up a server.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is perhaps the most secure and complete storage option. Instead of storing your documents on a physical server, you store them on a virtual one. The huge advantage of this is that you can access the documents from any device, no matter where in the world you might be. As long as you have an internet connection and the clearance to access the data, you can get it. It’s incredibly helpful if you’re always on the move or use multiple devices when working.

Cloud storage can also be far more specific to the individual. With a portable hard drive, you always get the same sort of thing. It’s a device that lets you store documents on it. Cloud storage can easily be customized to suit specific people or businesses. This means you could have a law firm document management system in the cloud, or a system designed for marketing agencies, or even one for healthcare businesses. The added layer of customization makes it far easier for you to organize files and keep things secure. Certain industries have specific requirements for data security and protection. So, a customized cloud platform can ensure you meet the requirements for your industry.

What Is The Best Way To Store Documents?

After looking at the different options, it’s clear the best approach is a combination of methods. You should always back-up your documents by storing them in different places. This could mean you have ones saved to your desktop, but they are also backed up in the cloud. In a way, this makes your documents more secure as you minimize the risk of losing them. In this scenario, if your computer breaks down and you lose all your documents, they still exist in the cloud.

How Can You Organize Your Documents?

So, you’ve seen how to store your documents, now what about organizing them? One key point has already been touched upon: folders.

Regardless of what storage method you choose, be sure to create folders for different documents. This is the easiest way to keep irrelevant things separate from one another. For example, have a folder for financial documents, and one for notes. If you need to find a bank statement, you can go straight to the financial documents folder instead of trawling through all your notes.

The second tip is to take care when naming your documents. Don’t just give them any old name, be sure you label them properly. This way, you can search for documents with ease. Instead of individually scrolling through the folder, you can use a search function and input some keywords. Going back to the previous example, a bank statement may have a random name when you download it. But, if you name it ‘BankStatementJune2020’ you will be able to search for it. Just type in ‘bank statement June’ and it will be one of the only results you see. Instead of this search taking a few minutes, it’s taken seconds!

On that note, you’ve come to the end of this guide. At this point, you should know the best options for storing your digital documents. Now, it’s just a case of picking whatever options work best for you. Remember to use at least two, so you can back up your data. Follow the simple tips above to ensure your documents are organized and easy for you to locate.

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