What Are The Best Ways To Store Data Long-Term?

Like a storage room in your home, your computer only has so much space to hold digital files and documents. 

If you’ve been in business for more than a couple of years, you’ve probably already noticed that your digital storage is filling up. 

Yes, you can sort and delete documents that you no longer need, but that only frees up so much space. 

What do you do with those digital files that NEED to be saved for a certain period of time due to HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and other protected personal information laws and compliances? 

It seems silly to keep them on your computer until you delete them; if you did that, you would be storing someone’s information on your drive for 7 years, when you don’t need to. 

So what do you do? What are some ways to store important digital documents and files that you don’t necessarily need every day but can’t get rid of quite yet? 

You do what you would with any paper files, put them in a “storage” container and lock them away for secure data storage. But what does that actually mean for digital data? Keep reading; we’ve got your answers! 

The Cloud

The most convenient way to store digital data is by sending it to the cloud. When you store files in the cloud, you can access this information 24/7, 365 from any computer, anywhere in the world. 

This is helpful when you need to access forms, files, and digital data that you use every day. 

When using this option, you’ll be able to access digital information that is important and necessary for daily work. It’s encrypted and safe, and all you need is internet access to get this information. 

But the cloud for long-term storage that you don’t need to see often? Not always the best choice. Like a storage unit, you have so much space that can be taken up “in the cloud”.  Once you’ve exceeded that space, you can expand it but at a cost. 

Your best options to store data long-term would be on physical, digital storage drives like USBs or External Hard Drives. 

store data long-term

Physical Digital Storage

When you want to store data long-term, these are your best options. For example, when you need to store information of a patient or client that you no longer oversee, why keep it in the computer or the cloud? Instead, you can move that essential and confidential information to an external hard drive or USB. You can find large storage external hard drives to store hundreds and thousands of files on. 

Once it’s in that drive and disconnected from the computer, there is no chance to “digitally” hack that information. Even if someone steals the physical piece of hardware, you can encrypt it with passwords so that it will unlock or delete itself after too many attempts. 

With physical, digital storage, best practices suggest that you keep it off-site data storage facility (like at our secure Docu-Trust facility) so that it isn’t destroyed or damaged if something happens to the building. This ensures that the files are protected. It also keeps it safe from possible theft and loss (how many times have you misplaced a USB?) 

Store Data Long-Term at Docu-Trust

If your company has been transitioning to digital files or has been paperless for some time, don’t discount the importance of digital data protection. 

When you move digital files from your computer or the cloud and onto a physical hard drive, ensure its safety by storing them at our Docu-Trust Facility

We have been proudly serving California, Arizona, and Nevada businesses for several years, and we pride ourselves on the measures we take to protect the sensitive documents inside our facility. 

To learn more about saving and shredding important documents, browse our website and read our blog, which features articles like, “What Does Being NAID Certified Mean for Document Shredding?” for further insight.