How to protect your vital information from disasters

Tornado season is currently wreaking havoc across the mid-west and the devastation of being impacted by one of these abundant twisters is emotional and overwhelming.  The number of people affected by a direct hit in Missouri’s capital alone is staggering. Couple this with destructive flooding and other severe weather damage, and you are left with a very large portion of the country currently feeling the effects of unforeseen disasters.

Disasters such as these can strike anywhere, at any time, and impact your personal life, as well as your place of business. Those individuals who have not prepared for such an occurrence will feel the effects of loss far beyond their personal possessions. The potential for stolen financial information, identity theft, or a complete loss of essential documents can put individuals and businesses at risk for long term repercussions and even bankruptcy.

Taking advanced measures to protect yourself and your business against the consequences of any form of disaster doesn’t have to be a difficult or time-consuming task.  By following a few of the below tips, you will be able to focus on the things that matter most, with far fewer worries in your return to normalcy.

  • Backup as much information as you can to a cloud-based service on a regular basis. These services provide individuals and businesses easy access from anywhere, are comparatively inexpensive, and provide a secure means to recover your essential information quickly and efficiently.
  • If you work for a company that is information-driven, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Consult an experienced partner to evaluate your business and provide recommendations that will ensure your ability to return to “business as usual” as quickly as possible.
  • Digitize your paper records.  Paper is vulnerable to nearly all forms of disaster and can be lost forever in a matter of seconds. By taking the time to scan and store all of your important paper documents, you will make the recovery and/or duplication process much easier.  If you have a business and make the decision to go through the digitizing process, make certain you pair it with the proper software that will offer many additional benefits to improve your day-to-day workflow.
  • Create a complete disaster recovery plan. During stressful times like these, it is often very difficult to even know where to begin. Having an outline of your priorities and next steps will help you stay focused on the matters at hand during a very chaotic process.
  • Victims of disasters are prime targets for the criminal element. Many criminals will contact the victims posing as lenders, creditors, insurance companies, or charitable organizations to obtain your personal information. Take the time to create and backup a list of the proper contacts for these organizations and, when possible, be the first to establish contact after the fact.  While it might seem obvious to not provide any personal information or documents without first authenticating who they are, people tend to let their guard down in times of personal tragedy.

Disasters impact millions of people every year and there is no amount of preparedness that can prevent them from happening.  However, by taking these few easy steps, you can make the road to recovery a little less challenging.

Ford Business Machines are experts in disaster recovery and are available to help you through this process.  Call 800.633.3673 today to set up a free consultation that will help you rest a little easier.

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