How to securely manage your legal documents
December 20, 2021
Whether or not it’s a task we look forward to, every adult needs to securely organize and keep track of important information. From backups of your passports and IDs to safeguarding vaccine information, passwords, and tax records, there's a lot to keep track of — yet most of us don't really think about our information until we can't locate it.
Not only does it take time and money to replace important legal documents, but misplacing important information can also create a security concern. In 2020, the Federal Trade Commission received over 2.2 million reports of fraud, with identity fraud topping the list. Keeping your sensitive legal documents securely organized is a way to prevent identity theft and other security risks.
That's where a legal document management system comes into play. Here’s how to improve your legal document organization and take it to the next level.
How to improve your legal document storage
Look beyond local document storage and organization
It’s easy to keep your legal documents stored in a filing cabinet and consider the job done. Unfortunately, leaving your legal information in one spot opens you up to a great deal of risk.
A flood, fire, or other natural disaster can ruin all those carefully curated and stored documents in a matter of minutes. This could mean days or weeks of tracking everything down and ordering replacements. Aside from the time that it will take, it may also cost additional fees for each lost document. If you aren’t able to remember everything that was lost, you may reach for a crucial document years later and not have a backup copy at all.
That’s why it makes sense to have a backup on a different site or off-site location. With an online legal document management system, you'll have your own document management software that is backed up on secure servers, so you won't ever have to worry about losing information. You can still keep that filing cabinet or safe on hand, but your original copies are always accessible from home or when you're on-the-go.
Find a solution that organizes you and your life
You may have already emailed your legal files to yourself or stored them with a third-party storage solution such as Dropbox or another provider. However, email accounts are vulnerable to hacking and phishing threats, and third-party file hosting solutions are more geared towards public sharing.
With an online legal document management software system, you’ll get the benefit of off-site backups on an interface that's explicitly designed for the secure storage and management of your documents. This puts you at a distinct advantage because your information is more safe on multiple levels.
Look for a solution that allows you to:
Organize beyond a generic folder/file based system
Send documents for safe viewing or e-signatures
Leave comments or notes on documents
Create reminders when information needs to be updated
Related article: Checklist: How to keep your sensitive information secure
Prioritize your security
Security should always be your top priority. Look for a system that helps you scan and upload your important documents in a highly secure environment.
The best document management software is protected with the same kind of encryption that you'd expect from your bank — AES 256-bit encryption. Features like two-factor authentication and specific permissions to share information as needed will also add additional layers of protection.
Backup your important files
A document is never truly safe until it exists in at least two places. When there is only a single version of any document, it can be destroyed or lost. “Redundancy” protects you from that risk.
Here are a few different ways to backup those important files:
Store physical copies in an offsite backup location, such as in a bank safe or storage unit
Ask your lawyer or legal counsel to keep a copy of related documents on hand
Scan documents and organize them in secure, cloud-based storage (such as a legal document management system)
Cloud-based systems offer the advantage of data redundancy built into the product itself. Using it gives you extra security and peace of mind.
What is the best document and information organization software?
Trustworthy is an all-in-one solution with legal document management features baked into the product. Not only is it easy to securely manage your legal documents on Trustworthy, it’s also easy to share and collaborate with the right people (whether that’s family members, lawyers, or financial advisors).
Securely organize important information like family IDs, bank accounts, passwords, legal estate documents, and insurance information on an effortlessly curated platform. Get started with a two-week free trial today.