How you can maintain your financial documents safely?

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How you can maintain your financial documents safely?
Though, financial system in India has been digitalized substantially and in many of the financial domains if not all customers have begun to receive online statements such as in the case of bank account statements, contract notes in case of capital market transaction and several others, storing and maintaining crucial documents has become less tedious. However still many financial documents such as the insurance policy document, certificate of fixed deposit, property papers and deed among others are still received in physical form.

So record-keeping in case of some is definitely required until the maturity of the term of the particular account or even after to account in different financial statements while some others should be preserved to make claims or as proofs in case of any wrong accounting by the financial institution.

To ensure that you can trace the financial documents as and when the requirement arises, you need to properly maintain the same. Though, you can maintain the record in a way that best suits you, the process could be even rendered easy by the maintenance of a file which can be segregated into such folders as highly crucial documents, documents to be filed, receipts etc. You can also place the documents on the basis of the account such as the credit card account, fixed deposit account, savings account, share and commodity trading contract notes. Segregating the documents on the basis of this criteria will certainly come in handy. Nonetheless, in the process, ensure that you do not lose any high priority document.

Thus, the prime basis in your entire record-keeping exercise will depend largely on your appropriate discretion with respect to which documents to keep, discard and documents that are already in record.

Financial documents that entail sensitive information also need to be safeguarded against any probable likelihood of theft of identity or any kind of fraudulent activity.

Things to avoid while storing highly crucial financial documents

1. Don't store such documents in very obvious or noticeable places such as in drawers or on computer desks as these are the most sought after places if someone wants to steal your financial information.

2. Debit card holders should remember their ATM PIN and should not maintain its record as it can be used by unintended parties.

3. Certain irreplaceable documents such as wills, deeds etc. should only be maintained as a copy in the home premise. Originals can be kept in the bank locker.

4. When maintaining financial record digital in your computer, do not allow unauthorized access to your personal details. Different technological advancements and features can be opted for enhanced protection.

5. Do not keep documents that are not required to be maintained as not all financial documents are to be kept until eternity. And with time you can surely prune some of the documents but with due care as they might carry all your personal information. Destroying such documents by burning is possibly the best way out.

Read more about: fraud, identity theft
Story first published: Saturday, November 23, 2013, 11:33 [IST]
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