Jonathan is a consumer credit counselor in Clearpoint’s Richmond, Virgina office.
Today the trend has been to move toward a paperless society. While not having paper documents has its advantages and cuts down on waste, there are certain situations where having a backup is very useful. My realization of this fact came when all of the important information I had stored on a password protected thumb drive had stopped working and had been lost.
This situation made me realize the importance of having a back up paper copy of my financial documents and other important information. In particular, I wished that I had had the foresight to keep paper copies of my credit card information, mortgage information, loan information, bank account numbers, insurance documents, serial numbers for valuables, and even telephone contact information for your friends, family, doctors, user names and passwords for my important websites.
Creating a simple excel or word document listing these items and then printing it would have saved me many hours, headaches and could be very helpful in resolving identity theft problems, or the addressing aftermath caused by fire or flood, or even a natural disaster when electronics can be easily damaged.
Additionally, keeping a paper record in a safe place could also be a useful tool for family to help if there was an emergency requiring their assistance. Not to mention that paper copies of your documents placed in a locked waterproof/fire proof safe are often more secure than their electronic counterparts because they are never subject to the risk or being hacked into through viruses or other computer-based malicious programs.