You’ll Miss Them When They’re Gone: 4 Ways to Protect Your Documents, Photos & Media

Looking at photosYou never expect a natural disaster, burglary or fire — but they do happen. And chances are, if your computer, home office files, photos or treasured music collection disappeared tomorrow, you’d be devastated. But you don’t have to be.

Planning for the unexpected can save your valuables and help put your mind at ease when you need it most. Take a look at these digital and age-old backup and storage solutions.

Paperless only, please

Take advantage of receiving important documents, such as your bank statements and W-2s, electronically. Choosing the paperless route allows you to log in to your accounts instead of worrying about losing that folder full of important documents stashed in the back of a filing cabinet.

For added peace of mind, create digital backups of important physical documents such as your passport and birth certificate, as well. Scanners are now smaller than ever (no more taking up half of your desk!), making it easy to go paperless in an afternoon. And when in a hurry, snap a photo of that important document with your smartphone.

Close at hand

External hard drives connect to your computer via a USB port, allowing for easy onsite backup of documents, photos, music and other media. When deciding which type of external drive works best for you, consider how much space you’ll need, as well as the drive’s compatibility with your computer.

To be extra safe, use two external drives and store your redundant backup in a safe or at work. Set yourself a digital calendar reminder to regularly back up your external drives — once a week or month, for example.

Out of sight, not out of mind

Cloud storage allows your data to be transferred and stored virtually, offering easy access to your information anywhere, anytime. And an added perk, you don’t need to be logged in on your computer to access your cloud. As long as you have your cloud username and password, you can recover your files on any computer, tablet or smartphone. There are more cloud service options than ever before, so compare multiple providers to decide what’s best for you.

Low-tech standby

If the tech world intimidates you, or you just want extra protection for physical documents and treasured keepsakes, then a fireproof safe is your best bet. Safes can protect your precious items from harm for many hours in extreme temperatures — something your external hard drive couldn’t do! But before you run out for a fireproof safe of your own, consider all of the items you may want to keep in it and where you’ll store it in your home.

Ultimately, it’s best to utilize multiple backup options to keep your valuables safe. Going paperless, using external hard drives and cloud storage, and keeping items in a fireproof safe will give you the protection you need should the unexpected strike.

Life is infinitely easier with support and guidance. Now that you have the tools to embrace your future with confidence, let State Farm help you to protect it.

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