digital vault -- inside a bank vault

2022-02-23

Do I Need a Digital Vault to Protect My Online Assets?

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People use safes and vaults all the time to store valuable physical items like jewelry, antiques, money, and important documents. A digital vault acts much the same way—the only difference is that it protects non-tangible, digital assets. 

With today’s lifestyles becoming more and more virtual, a digital vault for documents plays an increasingly important role in estate planning. Today, the estate planning attorneys at Phelps LaClair answer the two most common questions people ask about online vaults. 

What is a digital vault, and how does it work?   

A digital vault is an extremely-secure online platform where you can store your digital assets. These can include your:

  • Online banking account information
  • Online credit card information
  • Logins for online insurance and medical accounts
  • Cryptocurrency account information
  • Logins for email accounts
  • Passwords for social media accounts
  • Online documents
  • Family photos and videos
  • Reoccuring online subscriptions
  • Logins for mobile phone plans and other services and utilities

A digital vault acts a lot like any other online service. Once you sign up for service and create an account, you are able to upload the sensitive information you want to store there. 

There are a variety of companies offering online vaults. Your estate planning attorney can offer suggestions on the best one for your needs. 

What are the benefits of an online vault? 

There are many advantages to using a digital vault. For estate planning, an online vault allows you to have all your important online information in one place that is very secure and not difficult to use. 

1: Consolidate Information In One Place

Nowadays, people have numerous online accounts that they rarely need to access. They also have accounts they needed to set up once and never looked at again. It’s estimated the average American has about 150 online accounts requiring password access. 

A digital vault for your heirs provides one place to store all your important login information and passwords. If anything happens to you, this allows your estate executor to quickly access any information they need—for example, they can use it to pay bills on time or gather insurance information. 

2: Extra Security

People ask all the time can’t they just use Google Drive or similar online storage as their “digital vault.” Unfortunately, the security on these platforms is not strong enough to protect sensitive information like passwords and bank information. If your account gets hacked, the results could be disastrous. Companies that design online vaults make them with bank-level encrypted security, offering much more security against hackers.

3: Ease of Use

All the online vaults we’ve seen are very user-friendly. Most of them come with lots of customization options that allow the user to grant access to anyone they wish, such as an estate executor or power of attorney. And because the vault is online, authorized users can access it anywhere. This makes it very easy to update it whenever your digital information changes. 

Digital Asset Protection in Phoenix, Arizona

During estate planning, there is so much focus placed on physical assets that it can be easy to forget about the digital ones. For most people today, an online vault is a necessary part of the estate planning process. If you would like assistance in setting up a digital vault as part of your estate plan, contact Phelps LaClair at 480-892-2488.

Photo by olieman.eth on Unsplash

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