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4 minute read

A Guide to Online Vault Safety & Security

Are online vaults a safe and secure option for long-term important document protection? Learn more about online vaults in this guide from Trust & Will.

Patrick Hicks

Patrick Hicks, @PatrickHicks

Head of Legal, Trust & Will

In an era where data breaches and cyber threats are a constant worry, safeguarding sensitive information can feel like an uphill battle. One solution that has gained traction is the use of online vaults, a secure solution designed to protect and manage critical documents and data. Trust & Will explores the use of online vaults and how they can safeguard your digital assets using top-notch security.

What Are Online Vaults?

Online vaults, also known as digital vaults, represent secure storage where users can store and manage their important documents, data, and other types of information digitally. They offer an enhanced level of security compared to traditional data storage methods, making them an ideal pick for individuals and companies who prioritize the safety of their digital assets.

These vaults blend modern technology with stringent security protocols, delivering a secure platform for users to store, manage, and access their data. Even better, this data can be accessed anytime and anywhere.

The contents of an online vault can range from personal files such as digital Wills, property deeds, and financial documents to business-critical data such as contracts, employee records, and intellectual property documents. With an online vault, users can rest assured their sensitive information is safe from prying eyes and cyber threats.

What Can I Put in an Online Vault?

When planning your estate, an online vault can serve as secure storage for a number of essential documents. One of the most common inclusions is your digital Will, also called an e-Will.

In the digital age, many individuals are opting to create online or digital Wills, which can be easily updated and accessed when necessary. (Note: an e-Will is different from online Wills in the sense that they are legally valid in digital format. Online Wills are created online but eventually have to be printed and signed on paper in order for it to be considered legally valid. The validity of paper vs. online vs. digital Wills are determined by each state.)

Additionally, a digital Will stored in an online vault is safe from physical damage or loss – risks that paper documents often face.

Additional documents related to estate planning that can be stored in an online vault include:

  • Power of Attorney forms

  • Living Wills

  • Trust documents

  • Bank statements

  • Investment details

  • Ownership deeds

  • Insurance policies

Having these documents at your fingertips can significantly streamline the process of estate distribution, minimizing the potential for disputes or discord among beneficiaries. Your online vault may also house digital assets, including website domain names, digital currencies, and social media accounts, ensuring your digital legacy is managed according to your wishes.

Why Use Online Vaults?

One of the key reasons to set up an online vault is the enhanced security it offers for both physical and digital assets. Physical documents can be damaged or lost, and digital files stored on a personal computer or in the cloud can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. An online vault mitigates these risks by providing a secure and encrypted platform for storing critical documents and data. Furthermore, online vaults come with stringent access controls, allowing you to decide who can access your sensitive information and under what circumstances.

Another compelling use case for online vaults is their utility in estate planning. As our lives become increasingly digital, so does our legacy. An online vault allows individuals to secure their digital assets, such as website domain names, digital currencies, and social media accounts. This ensures that these assets are managed in accordance with the account holder's wishes, even after their demise. For additional information on setting up an online vault, you can refer to this comprehensive guide on Trust & Will.

Are Online Vaults Safe?

Yes, online vaults are generally safe and designed with a high level of security in mind. They are equipped with multiple layers of protection to guard against various types of potential threats. For instance, data stored in online vaults is typically encrypted, which means it's transformed into a code that can only be deciphered with the correct key. This safeguard ensures that even if someone manages to access your data, they would not be able to read or use it without the decryption key.

Besides encryption, online vault providers deploy other security measures such as two-factor authentication (2FA), which requires a second verification step in addition to the password, further bolstering the security. Secure server locations, frequent security audits, and stringent access controls are also common aspects of their security framework. Nevertheless, no system can be completely impervious to breaches. Therefore, it's crucial for users to follow best practices for securing their information, like using strong, unique passwords and not sharing access with untrusted parties. For more in-depth insights about the safety of online vaults, read our guide here.

What Makes Online Vaults So Secure?

An online vault's security is made possible by encryption technology.

When data is stored in the vault, it is encrypted or scrambled into a code that requires a decryption key to decipher. This cryptographic process makes the data unreadable to anyone without the correct key, leaving it useless even if intercepted. There are a number of different encryption protocols that can be used, and they all offer bank-level security.

In addition to encryption, secure socket layer (SSL) technology is used to protect data in transit. SSL creates a secured, encrypted link between a web server and a browser, ensuring that all data transmitted remains private and integral. This technology is crucial in preventing hackers from intercepting and tampering with data as it moves across the internet.

Further boosting the security of online vaults is the two-factor authentication (2FA), a method that requires users to verify their identity through two separate components. Have you tried to log into your bank account recently? Your bank may have asked you to log in using your username and password, and then further verify your identity by typing in an expiring verification code that was sent to your email or cell phone. This is an example of 2FA that is becoming increasingly commonplace. This security measure significantly reduces the chances of a successful breach as an attacker would need to compromise both factors to gain unauthorized access.

Secure server locations and stringent access controls are also key measures deployed by online vault providers. Servers are often housed in highly secure facilities equipped with surveillance systems, biometric access controls, and on-site security personnel. Access controls, on the other hand, ensure that only authorized personnel can access the data. They may involve biometric scanners, secure keycards, and PINs. Each of these security measures works in tandem to create a robust, secure environment for storing and accessing personal digital assets.

Incorporate Online Vaults in Your Estate Plan with the Help of Trust & Will

In this guide, we explored the concept of online vaults, which are digital platforms designed to securely store your personal, valuable data. Because our lives are ever-increasingly digital, it's just as important to consider how we'll securely store our valuables online as we do in the physical space.

Key safety measures such as encryption, secure socket layer (SSL) technology, two-factor authentication (2FA), secure server locations, and stringent access controls make online vaults very secure. Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of how these mechanisms work together to create a highly secure environment for storing and accessing personal digital assets to minimize the chances of unauthorized access and security breaches.

Trust & Will is an invaluable resource to help you take proactive steps to ensure the safety of your important documents. As experts in estate planning and secure digital storage, we understand the importance of safeguarding your valuable documents in the face of digital threats.

Interested in securing your estate plan with Trust & Will? Visit our website to get started. Our intuitive platform will guide you through the process of creating, storing, and managing your estate plan digitally. Members enjoy the use of our online vault which features bank-level security. Your important documents are not only organized but also securely stored. Take the first step in creating your estate plan with Trust & Will today. Take our free quiz to see where you should get started, or compare our different estate planning and settlement  options today!

Is there a question here we didn’t answer? Browse more topics in our learn center or chat with a live member support representative! 

Trust & Will is an online service providing legal forms and information. We are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice.

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