Tech Talk: Secure Online Storage
I’m an organizer and love to have all of my important information easily accessible at any moment. I don’t have a safe deposit box at the bank and getting into my fire box at home isn’t convenient. As executor of my parents’ will, I need to be able to easily pull their key information together, too. To have information such as account numbers, passwords and family social security numbers readily available, you have to store it online. There are many ways to do this, but which ones are secure?
As I started my research, I reached out to Michael Allbritton, a cybersecurity analyst and lead trainer at Alpine Security. Michael says weak passwords and reusing the same ones are two of the biggest security risks to people on the Internet. He says using a credential manager such as 1Password allows you to mitigate this risk. LastPass is another tool he recommended for protecting passwords and important information. I highly recommend using one of these to keep your passwords secure, create unique combinations for each site and safely share passwords or notes.
I also came across an online tool called LifeSite (lifesitevault.com), which helps you organize important information and reference where the original documents are stored. It provides you with various checklists to ensure you have important information ready in case of a tragic life event such as a home fire, flood or death of a loved one. It even helps you track simple things such as pet care and helps you prepare for a trip. The application allows you to collaborate with family members and your lawyer or accountant. Another feature is a backup contact that notifies someone if you haven’t logged in to the account after a period of time. One thing LifeSite doesn’t seem to do, though, is offer a secure password generator.
If you find yourself writing down your passwords in a notebook or sharing account login information via email, your information isn’t secure. It is important to make sure you are prepared when a crisis happens and you need to access your information quickly. Plan ahead and consider one of the above-mentioned apps to manage your information securely.
Sheila Burkett is an information technology expert and CEO of Spry Digital, an interactive design agency delivering smart digital solutions. Follow Spry Digital on Twitter (@sprydigital), Facebook (facebook.com/sprydigital), Instagram (@sprydigital) or LinkedIn (linkedin.com/company/spry-digital-llc).