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Thread: Financial Information Security

  1. #1
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    Default Financial Information Security

    Hi all,
    I’m looking for some input on the best ways to store/safeguard/backup personal information. A building next door to mine burned down recently, and I figured I’m relatively unprepared.

    The information would include: financial information, tax filings, birth certificate, passwords to accounts etc. Currently a lot of this is in paper format and I’m looking to consolidate everything and also have a secure backup in the case of an emergency.

    1. Where should I be storing this information for general use? I use a windows based laptop and apart from free adaware I don’t run any sort of virus/malware protection, and in general know very little about computer security. Currently all I have in digital format is a protected excel spreadsheet that tracks budget/equity etc.

    2. What is the best backup format, cloud vs. external storage? I had an external backup hard drive and the usb connecter on it snapped, rendering it completely useless. I would definitely like something more robust. I'm biased towards an external drive and more suspect of cloud storage for this type of information, but I don't know if that is a concern. How often should I be backing up and is one source sufficient?

    3. What should I be keeping in paper format? Items such as birth certificate are obvious, but others like tax filings I can just get off the cra website on demand, so not too concerned.

    4. What’s the best way to save passwords? Unfortunately I have ended up with 10 different variations of a similar password for a lot of login information, due to different security protocols. I don’t save these in my browser.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by dimi; 07-05-2020 at 07:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Online accounts you need a password manager. I use Lastpass and I am satisfied with it.
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  3. #3
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    ^ lastpass - but its just a matter of time before they get compromised -[ if you dont use your encryption (where you decrypt).

    Its 7$ a month I believe for that option.

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    Multi-Factor everything. Every time you try to login, you should be getting notified on a completely separate device to confirm the login.

    Same goes for your finances - setup your credit card to notify your phone every time

    Double down on redundancy - backup to the cloud and a local NAS. External drives fail all the time, and you may lose access to the cloud at some point, so best practice is having both. Use the drive specifically for the purpose of storing sensitive data, and only connect it when it's required for use.

    Don't share passwords between any two accounts. Don't use stupid easy passwords. 1337 speak doesn't make a secure password.

    The biggest risks you face are having your shit encrypted, or your shit spoofed. I'd avoid garbage things like 'adaware' and instead make sure you're fully patched up and configured for max security - this means core isolation, TPM/Secure boot/UEFI enabled, Windows 10 2004 update running virtualized Edge browser.

    The largest contributing factor to becoming hacked/compromised/locked is the end user clicking something stupid. Second is end users having garbage passwords shared between multiple accounts. Educate yourself! Use unique e-mails for forums accounts. These sites get hacked ALL THE TIME.

    Password manager - great and convenient until it gets compromised. One password will give malicious actors access to all passwords. Keep this in mind when using biometric security - if biometrics get compromised (algorithm that encrypts your bio data gets decrypted), you now have useless biometric security for life. You're not realistically changing your iris, finger print or facial structure. Nothing beats a secure text password.
    Last edited by zipdoa; 07-06-2020 at 09:58 AM.
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  5. #5
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    It sounds like the password stuff has been addressed to death, so I'll just talk about the file storage. As everyone else said, make sure you back up, have a NAS or at the very least, a couple of removable drives that you manually copy your stuff over to every few months.

    Personally, my biggest concern is fire, not theft. So even though I have that NAS that won't help if my house burns down when I'm at work one day. So a couple years ago I got a fireproof safe and about every 6 months or so I'll copy my NAS files to a 3rd hard drive that I keep in the safe. Even if you don't have a safe, copy your key stuff to a hard drive and leave it at your parents/brothers/whatever house. Just someone you trust who's house won't burn down at the same time as yours. Then at least you've always got something.

  6. #6
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    Cloud > * for storage

    It puzzles me why people waste so much time with physical drives and backups and keeping copies at relatives when cloud is just so seamless and cheap. MS 365 is like $120 a year and comes with 1TB of storage for 6 users each. Map your My Documents and My pictures folders to your OneDrive and never worry about it, like ever. Someone could steal my laptop any time and I could be up and running on a new one in an hour or less with no missing files.

    On the go or at work and need to check a file? Login online and view/edit with office online/mobile.

    I’m sure Apple/google/Dropbox cloud are just as easy to use if you don’t like MS for whatever reason but imo physical drive backups are way more trouble than they are worth

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    Yes cloud for storage. Physical local drives are a poor solution for most individuals and companies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Rural_Juror
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    no one gives maritimers shit for culturally appropriating donairs.

  8. #8
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    Backblaze is a good cloud backup option too.

  9. #9
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    Nothing against cloud storage, use it all the time for my company, but I just prefer local storage for my personal sensitive stuff. Those files doesn't really change more than maybe yearly - my passport, tax returns, etc., so it's pretty easy to manage. I totally see the benefits of the cloud, and use it for some things, just not my financial files. Maybe one day.

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