Everyone will tell you to back up your electronic information. In addition to backing up your electronic data, you may want to back-up your paper data electronically.
For personal use, things like your bills and bank statements can generally already be found online, but photographs, a signed copy of your will, notes that have some value to you, tax returns, health records, training records, insurance information, and so forth, might be of great benefit to keep a backup electronic copy. Some of those items can be retrieved such as your tax preparer probably keeps a copy of your returns and doctors keep a copy of your health records, but if something were to happen where you lost these files such as a fire or flood, do you really want to go on a scavenger hunt from the top of your head after a disaster like that?
For business use, keep in mind many small businesses close after a disaster. Avoid that happening to your business by planning for these things to occur and having a system in place. What documents do you keep only as a paper copy that you need to survive as a business?
After choosing which documents you feel you should keep a back-up copy, scan it in to your computer. If you don’t have a scanner, many companies offer scanning services; however, if you have a lot to scan, printers that include scanners are selling as low as $32 at Walmart’s website.
Make sure you organize the information in files that’s easy for you and your loved ones to find. In addition, don’t forget to back those up with the rest of your electronic data as well. If you keep your computer in the same location as all those files you just scanned in, more than likely your hard drive won’t survive a disaster no better than the original documents.