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Reader's question about financial notebooks

Last post Fri, May 28 2010 9:57 AM by Walt34. 3 replies.
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  • Thu, May 27 2010 12:30 PM

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
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    Reader's question about financial notebooks

    As an additional question to the post "Do you have a financial notebook? " a reader asked:

     This is in regard to the article about making a Financial Notebook. How safe is putting all this personal information on a computer?  I  have a list of most of the items mentioned in the article, but it is in longhand.  I am hesitant about even typing it in my word program on the computer.  It seems like wherever you put it, a hacker can access any information and steal your identity.  I would be interested in your opinion on this.  Thank you. 

    What do you think? Is it safe to put your information on your computer?

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  • Thu, May 27 2010 12:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Reader's question about financial notebooks

    The reader can type the financial notebook into Word, just save the file to a flash (thumb) drive that can be removed, and remove it from the computer once the file is saved (and store it in a safe place). After that is done, clear the history on the computer.

    If the reader wants to look at or update the financial notebook again,  they can plug the flash drive into a USB port on the computer and open it, taking the same precautions as previously when finished viewing/updating it.


  • Thu, May 27 2010 4:29 PM In reply to

    • Edey
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    Re: Reader's question about financial notebooks

    just save the file to a flash (thumb) drive

    That's a good suggestion.

    And not wishing to be argumentative, so forgive me if it sounds like that, but this brings up another question: thinking back to when things were stored on floppy disks, and that technology is now obsolete or just plain dead, what happens to that info if at some point in the future flash drives are no longer useable? It would seem that the owner would have to think to keep updated on the lastest storage technology for record keeping or risk losing that data. Having it both in print and on a storage device would give you 2 sources for record retrieval when needed.

    Let me explain why I say this: I worked in a school, and the students permanent records were never destroyed.  They went all the way back to 1948 when the school opened.  In the '90's they started scanning them to put on disks. But no one ever thought ahead to how they would be able to use those disks in the future. Then 10 years later they had major difficulty finding or rigging the necessary hardware to read those disks. People were requesting their school records and the admin. office was having a hard time filling those requests because of outdated and obsolete equipment for record storage, and no one could remember where they stored the original card files. That's not very organized, I know.  

    It would seem to be a good idea to have multiple sources of records, and maybe even have something stored elsewhere away from home, like a safe deposit box, or with a trusted friend. If you have a motor home, travel trailer or camper, copies could be stored there as well, and would be available if you should have to evacuate quickly due to an emergency.  


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  • Fri, May 28 2010 9:57 AM In reply to

    • Walt34
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Dec 17 2007
    • WV eastern panhandle
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    Re: Reader's question about financial notebooks


    What do you think? Is it safe to put your information on your computer?

    In the short term, yes, if it's encrypted. That said, any encryption method can be cracked but if it's going to take 200 years do you care?

    Long term storage is another issue. Tapes are good for one to five years. The old 3.5" diskettes are good for at best about ten. Hard drives are good for five to ten years. CDs, DVDs and the like are good for ten to twenty.

    So long term storage is becoming a major issue for many IT departments, especially government entities like schools, where sometimes people need to retrieve records from 30 or more years ago. For example, a couple of years ago I applied for a job and they wanted a copy of my high school diploma from 1968. Would a copy of my Bachelor's degree suffice? Nope, it had to be the HS diploma, and it took a few days of rummaging around before we found it. If I hadn't, the next place to go would be the high school.

    This is an issue for military records, health records, land records, stock and financial records, and the list goes on of stuff that needs to be retrieved decades later. And if you're into history or genealogy, you want to retreive records from centuries ago. Long term preservation of bits 'n bytes is becoming an issue.

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