With the recent disaster in Japan and our experience in the United States with Hurricane Katrina just a few short years ago, it made me think about what kind of smart money moves you should make around protecting your documents. If a Tsunami or some natural disaster wiped out your house today, what would you do if you lost all of your important financial papers? Or what might you do if you were in another state or country at the time of this disaster? Maybe it is time to consider having an electronic safety deposit box.
An electronic safety deposit box works like a physical one in many ways. The main purpose is to organize documents that are important in your life into a safe place in case anything happens. You can store wills, tax returns, deeds, insurance policies, passports, copies of credit cards, pictures of your valuable belongings, and much more. This type of safety deposit box is web based, thus giving you access literally from any computer in the world that can access the internet. Consequently, if a natural disaster happened you would be able to get all of this information within a very short period of time.
Any safety deposit box program you use should of course be extremely secure. I know how difficult it is today to attempt to manage the 27 different user names and passwords you have to the various websites you signed up for in the past. If you make a mistake and don’t remember your favorite movie, it can be a cumbersome process to regain access to that website. Thus, you want your safety deposit box to have one user name and one password to access everything, and look for these security features:
• Make sure the system is not transactional in any way.
• Data should be secured behind firewalls. A firewall is a security device that creates a barrier between the Internet and computing equipment and applications.
• Firewalls block unauthorized data access. If an incoming packet of information is flagged, it is not allowed to enter the system.
• You should look for an additional layer of protection by trafficking data from the application server to the database server through the firewall.
• Your security provider should tell you that access is limited to authorized personnel, and requires multiple levels of authentication, including fingerprint scanning. They should also offer fire protection, electronic shielding, 24 X 7 monitoring and database backups.
• Your safety deposit box system should be designated as a VeriSign Secure Site. All information should be routed through Secure Socket Layer (SSL), which creates an encrypted connection between the browser and the web servers.
• You safety deposit box should not be able to be accessed through an unsecure connection. It should use at least 128 bit encryption.
• Encrypted information is simply scrambled data. Once scrambled, the data can only be read after it has been decrypted. Decryption mathematically unscrambles the information using a secure session “Key”.
• To date no one has been able to crack 128-bit encrypted data. High level encryption, at 128-bits, can calculate 288 times as many encryptions as 40-bit encryptions. That’s over a million times stronger.
• A security and incident response team should be maintained.
• You should have a unique User Name and Password that requires change every 90 days. If three consecutive incorrect login attempts are made to your system, the account should lock out someone trying to hack your system.
• User IDs and Passwords should never be given out over the phone or sent to email addresses that are not pre-registered with your safety deposit box.
• Certified Hacker Safe.
• Your safety deposit box should be Certified Hacker Safe. Hacker Safe approval means the system is updated every 15 minutes with tests for newly discovered vulnerabilities and validated fixes from hundreds of sources worldwide.
Our company offers a personal financial dashboard and on line safety deposit box as described above. Every time we see some type of natural disaster such as the one in Japan, it reminds me how much I need to encourage clients and the public about why spending a few bucks to get an on line safety box can save you a ton of time and money down the road.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an interest in getting one set up for you!
Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc
oXYGen Financial, Inc. co-CEO Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice and Smart Money Moves to the X and Y Generation.
Phone 1.800.355.9318 or 770.777.0427
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