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Recommendation for storage of all my Word docs plse?

(21 Posts)
NetworkGuy Fri 23-Nov-12 19:43:04

Not being a user of Dropbox, but have used and one option I've seen (so worth checking if this is available) is that of some software which will archive files whenever there is a change, ie keeping the DriveHQ copy of all files up-to-date all the time, not just when you get round to backing up. It means that if you've just saved a document and then hard drive dies, then in the minute or so between saving and finding your system is toast, there's a reasonable chance the backup will already have been done for you...

Out of interest, why isn't it the client's responsibility to make their own second (and third?) copy of their will and have that stored somewhere secure, in case of dispute...

I know I'd be reluctant to be storing hundreds of other people's documents ayt my own cost and with mechanisms depending on me (and presumably could be sued if something went amiss) so I'd avoid the situation and make it their responsibility not mine smile

I assume it 'comes with the territory' but it's still a bit of a pain. I suppose one could use one of the High Street 'post box' firms to have a location available 15 to 24 hours a day where one could lock away the (encrypted) copies of all the documents, which would avoid using a 'cloud' based service and be not unduly costly.

mumblechum1 Fri 23-Nov-12 17:01:53

grin I like your thinking Niceguy

niceguy2 Fri 23-Nov-12 16:58:09

I keep an encrypted hard drive in the boot of my car. The logic being if both my house and car burn down I've got bigger things to worry about.

Naoko Fri 23-Nov-12 15:49:07

As these are legal documents, I would actually go for a dual approach - secure offsite storage in an (encrypted, as suggested above) cloud service, as well as backup to an external HD, which are quite cheap, about £40-50 for a 500GB one. The former in case, god forbid, your house burns down, the latter in case you have a HD failure or there is a problem with the online service. If you're dealing with vital files or legal documents, redundancy is key.

mumblechum1 Fri 23-Nov-12 14:25:17

Yes, I don't think I'd feel comfortable using Cloud.

MrAnchovy Fri 23-Nov-12 12:42:05

I'm not sure that storing unencrypted confidential encryption on cloud servers that could be anywhere in the world would meet the relevant requirements of the data protection act.

Then use a service where data is encrypted before transmission with a local key like Jungle Disk. (Note that although services like Dropbox do transmit and store data securely the keys are not local i.e. it is feasible that a Dropbox employee could access your data).

niceguy2 Save As -> PDF has been part of MS Office since Office 2007, no need for a separate applicaiton.

I'm not sure that storing unencrypted confidential encryption on cloud servers that could be anywhere in the world would meet the relevant requirements of the data protection act. I hope you encrypt your PC hard disk, as well?

niceguy2 Thu 22-Nov-12 13:17:59

Hi mumble.

May I also recommend that you use a PDF printer like this one: PDF Creator for storing your wills?

This will create a 'printer' on your computer which you can print to. Instead of being printed on paper though, it will create an electronic document which you cannot edit. If you store this, it will be much better in a dispute than a copy of the Word document which can be amended.

mumblechum1 Thu 22-Nov-12 12:27:21

I'm obliged to keep correspondence (most of that is by email), and the final version of the will, plus the handwritten instruction sheet.

The most important thing of course is the physical, signed will, but I don't store those myself, I signpost my clients to a secure storage facility run by the probate office.

The only reason I need to keep this stuff is if there was ever a dispute, eg someone doctored an original will, and I was asked to produce the final version which I sent to the client.

tribpot Thu 22-Nov-12 11:19:03

Are you obliged to keep these copies, mumblechum, or is it more of a convenience thing?

MrsjREwing Thu 22-Nov-12 10:23:20

marking my place for later.

niceguy2 Thu 22-Nov-12 10:21:56

It's pretty easy. Basically sign up, download & install the software.

This will create a folder called "Dropbox" inside your "My Documents" folder.

Anything you put in there will be uploaded to Dropbox automatically. Files will have a little green tick if they are uploaded and a little circle if they are being uploaded. That's it!

If you have more than one PC and install it on both, files you put in one PC will be copied across to the other automatically.

A brucie bonus is that once on their website, let's say you accidentally delete a file on your PC. You can log into their website and undelete it.

mumblechum1 Thu 22-Nov-12 09:51:14

Excellent, thank you all so much. I'll google Dropbox and work it out <<technophobe>>

niceguy2 Thu 22-Nov-12 08:48:05

Depending on how much space you need, another vote for Dropbox here. It's much simpler than messing around with external hard drives.

You get 2GB free and can get more by recommending friends and sometimes there are other promotions. I'm up to 18GB now on a free plan. Of course you could just pay for more.

Microsoft Skydrive give you 7GB free but personally I think Dropbox beats it in terms of flexibility and ease of use.

ladyWordy Wed 21-Nov-12 23:32:44

Durability is the main problem, with having to keep things for such a long time. Further concerns are how much data you have to store, and the security of confidential material.

As well as the above suggestions, you might consider an external hard drive. This will plug into your PC's USB port, and you can backup straight onto it. It might be wise to password protect or encrypt the data as you back it up (software for this might be bundled with the disk). After a few years you would need to replace the hard drive, and transfer the data, since no data storage device is indestructible.

Regarding cloud storage, perhaps have a look at Crashplan, who offer versatile free and paid backup solutions. You can backup an encrypted data set to an external disk, another computer you own, a friend's computer (via the Internet), or to Crashplan central.

tribpot Wed 21-Nov-12 23:29:10

Yes, Dropbox is not tied to an operating system. 'Cloud' is a generic name for online storage (not to be confused with 'iCloud' which is an Apple-specific implementation quite unlike anyone else's!)

What is the total file size you are wanting to store? It's likely to be way less than whatever Dropbox will offer you for free, but you can pay for me.

How secure do these files need to be? I'm surprised you keep them just on a PC at home; I understand the paper copies are the legal things but do you/are you meant to secure electronic copies? (Genuine question, I have no idea).

My other concern about cloud storage is reliability. Particularly for the free offerings - obviously a lot of people would walk away if Google had a catastrophic failure and lost a shedload of people's data, but how much could they really be sued for, in offering a free service? I'd be more tempted to pay in order to know I had a proper service level agreement with the provider.

What do you do with your work in progress files to make sure you could access them in a hurry if your PC suddenly blew up? I would start using Dropbox pronto whilst you sort out your other options.

mumblechum1 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:22:56

Oh, can I use dropbox from a PC? I know I have it on my Mac (which I rarely use) but didn't realise I cd put Word docs into it.

Basically my concern is that my Dell PC is getting a bit old so when it bites the dust I want to have been able, beforehand, to store all of those docs safely so that I can access them easily many years from now.

vamosbebe Wed 21-Nov-12 23:13:04

Dropbox (online, private, I have used it for years and never had a problem).

mumblechum1 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:11:32

Thank you, I'll find out about Cloud.

APMF Wed 21-Nov-12 22:49:50

I keep a copy on my important documents on my pc. Once a month I back it up on a dvd and post it to my sister for safe keeping. A more up to date method would be to set up a cloud account (virtual folder in cyberspace) and keep back up copies there. Or you can email the documents to yourself

mumblechum1 Wed 21-Nov-12 21:30:06

Hi I'm a will writer and currently store my version (the signed hard copies are stored elsewhere obv.) of wills just on my Dell PC.

I'd like to put them on some sort of disc, as have to keep them for decades, until 6 years after the client dies.

Can anyone give me simple advice about the best way to do this please?

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