Not all that long ago, storage needs for businesses only meant physical places to store paper records, such as filing cabinets, desk drawers, or off-site storage facilities that protected irreplaceable documents in case of fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, or floods. Such off-site facilities are still a good idea in some cases, particularly for documents such as bank statements, copies of checks, tax returns, or important company records, particularly those that are available only on paper. Storage companies can provide such record keeping facilities and can be a worthwhile investment for many businesses. Places like Vital Records Control do more than just secure records, but also shred and dispose of any that need to be disregarded.
For most businesses today, however, storage requirements mean ways of keeping electronic records safe and secure online. Here’s a look at three ways to store your business electronic records and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
On Your Computer
Saving valuable records, such as financial files, on your desktop computer is as easy as hitting the save button and some programs even save your files automatically. The benefit, if you take the right security measures, is that records are inaccessible by others. But such files are vulnerable to accidental erasure, a hard drive crash, fire, or theft. Also, they are available only on one computer. Records are accessible when out of the office if they are saved on a laptop, but are similarly vulnerable should the laptop be lost, stolen, or damaged or the files compromised in some way.
On a Portable Hard Drive
Valuable business files can be saved on a portable hard drive, or routinely backed up to it. Should the computer crash, records will be saved, and a portable hard drive is also inaccessible by others unless they have access to it, so the files stay secure. The downside of using this method is that the portable hard drive itself might become damaged or unreadable. Luckily, for a small cost, you can easily back it up to a new one should the worst happen.
On a Cloud Drive
Probably the best way to save valuable electronic records today is on the cloud, or remote drive, a service that many companies including Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon offer. It is highly unlikely that the records will be destroyed or damaged as the data is constantly backed up. A downside is that files on the cloud might be vulnerable to hacking, causing all your personal information to be compromised. Another downside is that, unless you back up your files regularly, those on the cloud will not be the latest versions. One answer to that problem is a service that continually backs up your files and saves them on the cloud.
As a business security is key to keeping your company running and helping clients and employee files stay safe. Use the tools you have physically to protect your data, but don’t forget that electronic saving is also a tool you need to take advantage of.