Thursday, July 17, 2014

Medical Care Alert - Are You Prepared?

We work with some wonderful companies who share a passion for helping others like we do.  One such company is Medical Care Alert.  They have written the following blog for us. 


 Article  provided  by 

Who is your first call after a fall?
There are many reasons for falling down, whether it’s clutter in the walkway, a slippery floor in the bathroom, or a bad drug interaction.   Most falls are preventable, but that doesn’t eliminate the need to know what to do when you do fall.    When a fall happens, are you prepared? Here are some things to do when you’ve been injured in a fall.

1.    Assess the  damage

Before you press the button on your medical alert bracelet, give yourself a quick once-­‐over.  Is there anything actively hurting?  Do you see blood? Did you hit yourself on anything? Remember that things can be replaced, but you can’t.

2.  If you’re not hurt, try to get up

Try getting up.   There might be a chair or something which you can balance yourself on, or maybe you’re in the tub and can use the side of the tub or a grab bar to raise yourself.    Getting into a chair will let you better assess the situation.

3.  If you’re not able to get up, wait a few minutes

Medical alert systems are excellent in any emergency.   You might be a little stunned from falling in the first place, so give it a few minutes.  Take deep breaths and try to think calmly in the situation.

4.  If you’re hurt, activate your medical alert bracelet immediately

If you find that you’re significantly hurt, don’t hesitate on pressing the button for the medical alert systems.   That’s what they’re there for, and someone will be able to help you in the situation.  They’ll be able to send help to you.   They have an ‘emergency’ list of information on file for you.

5.  If EMTs are called, wait patiently

Stay where you are and don’t try to move.   The EMTs are trained in emergency situations and they will be able to safely and effectively move you.  It might seem like a little thing to you, but wait until the trained professionals get there to assess the situation.   Once you’ve activated your medical alert bracelet, you’re in good hands.

SafelyFiled's SafelyMD Card
If you are taken to the hospital, the EMTs and all of the personnel are going to need more information than what the people who run the medical alert systems have.   They will need to know more about your advance directives and your medical history.   Instead of keeping a huge file with you that the emergency personnel have to sort through, offers an easy way to make that information instantly available when needed via the SafelyMD emergency data card.

When the paramedics come to pick you up and rescue you, you can present the emergency data card to them with a code they can scan.  That code will take them to the medical form that you've filled out in your SafelyMD or SafelyFiled  (multiple cards for family) account where they will be able to get more detailed information than the medical alert systems people will be able to give.  In other words, the addition of SafelyFiled supercharges your medical alert bracelet.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

SafelyFiled Uses You May Not Have Thought Of - Part 1

The main purpose of SafelyFiled is for families to be able to store, organize and share very sensitive family documents and records.  For that reason, we designed the service to be extremely secure.


But it has so many other uses and is so affordable, that we thought we'd put together a list of other things we've heard our members do with it and some things we personally use it for.  This is just the first part as there are so many uses we didn't want to overwhelm you in one blog.

Even if you don't use SafelyFiled, we hope this list of things helps you to organize some paperwork you may not have thought of.

Automobile maintenance & tire replacement records 


For those of us who keep the maintenance records and purchase receipts for our vehicles in the glove box, that paperwork can become damaged and require a lot of sorting through to find exactly what we need.  You can use your smart phone to photograph those documents and use our App to upload them into your account for quick access anytime. For these types of records, you can even email them into your SafelyFiled account as the info contained on these records isn't sensitive (usually). Now you can destroy the papers and have room to put gloves in the glove compartment! If you need paper copies when you sell or trade the car, just print them off for the new owner.

Annual farm equipment reminders 


We have a user who owns a farm.  She has equipment that needs annual maintenance and safety checks.  She uploads her documentation from the previous year's service and adds a reminder to them for next year so she doesn't have to worry about missing a required inspection.

Special order items


Have you ever needed to order some special equipment or replacement parts?  I shop online often to order specialty pool replacement items like my pool light bulb.  I don't need to replace it often, maybe every 5 years or so, so when I need to reorder, it's very handy to have the old order form so I have the correct part number and record of where I ordered it from. 

Yes, we realize you can save a lot of this information in other like services and even on your computer because they aren't necessarily sensitive in nature.  But why have your information in different places? SafelyFiled gives you enough storage space to store everything in one place and it is very affordable.  

Check out this blog to help organize things you may not think of  Tweet: Check out this blog to help organize things you may not think of


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Helpful Tips - A La Carte

We aren't just writers of blogs, we are also readers of blogs. As we come across good information that we think is share-worthy, we share.  This blog is just that.  A list of links to some other helpful and worthwhile blogs that we thought our readers could benefit from.

We certainly aren't the only bloggers out there with great information regarding securing your data. There are many tools and practices that will help you ensure your data is kept safe in cyber space.  In reality, your data's security is really up to you.  Yes, the companies you do business with have a responsibility, but they can only do so much. You as the user of technology have a big role to play in keeping your data secure.

How do you know the website you're dealing with is safe? 


That is the first step.  Before you do business with an online service or business, you'll want to ensure they have a good website reputation.  First, click this link and type in the web address of the business you want to use to see what their online reputation is:  Webutations Info

Tip:  You can download a browser add-on from this site that you can use to check the reputation of websites automatically.                                           

Good password practices are THE most important thing you can do to help keep your information secure.
Tweet: Password Practices are THE most important thing you can do to help keep your information secure.

Good Password Practices are Key!

Many instructive password guides only cover the basics to cater to non-technical users. This results in moderately strong passwords, which is good for someone who was about to use “password123” as their password.  But read this for more information on great passwords Read more >

If you're anything like me, you get very frustrated that you need to have so many different passwords at various online sites to keep your information secure. This blog is one we wrote last year that many found helpful.   Read more >

Tip:  Did you know that you should use short phrases as passwords?  If you include the name of the website in that phrase it will help you keep them straight. For example, if you use the online shopping site for Walmart.  You can make your password MyWalmart0414!.  If you use a similar phrase (not exact) on every website, using a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers and/or symbols, that makes your passwords very strong AND easier to remember. If you add the month and year as in this example, you'll know the last time you changed that password :-)

Tweet: Did you know that you can use short phrases as passwords? Easier to remember too.Did you know that you should use short phrases as passwords? Easier to remember too.

There are some myths out there regarding safe-keeping of data.  Here is one on that topic:

Traditionally, we think the closer we hold something, the more secure it is. If we invest in precious metals, or own treasured items of high monetary value, chances are we place it in a safe in the bedroom or the office. If we carry cash, we keep it safely in a wallet on our person: the closer, the better. Too often, this conventional wisdom carries over to our thinking about IT. We assume if we have data stored on in-house servers, for example, then it will be more secure.  Read more >

What Happens to Your Online Presence When You Die? 


Depending on the social media site, it could live on forever.  This is a very important topic as more than 300,000 Facebook users alone die every month!  Read More >
Tip:  You can download our free Managing Your Digital Assets checklist and get started on putting together your plan to ensure your accounts are all closed out when the time comes.

Secure Those Mobile Devices!


A recent study revealed that while 67 percent of smartphone users and 64 percent of tablet users protect their mobile devices using a password or passcode, nearly half of the smartphone users and 56 percent of tablet users actually shared their device passcode with at least one other person, placing the security of their device and the data on the device at risk!  Read More > 

We hope you found these different articles and tips helpful.  If you did, please pass this blog on.

Tweet: I learned something new on this blog. Check it out!  I learned something new on this blog. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Your Family Legacy

The popularity of sites such as is not really a new phenomenon. The founders took what used to be passed down through generations via mediums like family Bibles, and put it online using, for the most part, public records.


That's a great idea and it has really caught on. Congratulations to for that very successful business idea.

If you're anything like me though, there are things about myself and family that I don't necessarily want made known as a public record.  But I do want the information passed on to my grandchildren and other generations to come.  That is why I have kept a journal most of my life.  From an early age, I have felt that there would be important aspects of my life and my family's lives that might be of great interest to those who come after me.  I started journalling as a child with the typical things such as boys I had crushes on and how unfair my parents were to me as the oldest child (don't all oldest children feel that way?) and important events that occurred at school or in my community.  But over the years, my stories have evolved into more in-depth things. I now write about things such as records of family births, deaths, marriages, divorces, our grandchildren's "firsts", last precious moments with loved ones who have passed on, my walk with God and many other things that I think generations after me might be interested in.  These are the types of things you just cannot get from public record.  Although, with Facebook and other social media, some families might!   For my family, they will need to be able to find my many journals and my Bible to get this family history.

How do I ensure they can find the journals?


Well, for starters, I have to know where they are.  You might think that's funny. But we have moved so many times in our lives being military and even after retirement with business, that it's not always an easy task knowing where the journals have ended up.  After our last move, I gathered them all together and put them in a safe place.  I'm praying that I don't have a fire or other natural disaster that would destroy them. It's not really feasible to scan them all and make them digitally available; although at some point I might consider that with new technology that's being developed.  But for now, I have a special letter that I've written to our daughter that is safely stored and shared with her in SafelyFiled. I've asked her to read that letter first when the time comes for me to leave this earth.   I have also taken photos of the journals so she knows what they look like physically and I have that photo complete with the location of where I store them documented in the location field within my SafelyFiled account.  In that way, not only will she know where to look for them when I'm gone, but if I ever start to lose my memory, even momentary lapses, I too can look in my account and remind myself where I've put them.  And if I can't remember how to get into my account, she can help me with that too.

I would have loved the ability to open up journals of my ancestors and read, not just about facts and public records, but about what they were thinking, feeling, and what was going on in their community and family during their lives.  I hope my family generations will want to do that as well.  It will be like I'm able to talk with them personally about what was happening during my time and how much I love them, even if I never get to meet them here.

What about your family legacy?  


You may not keep formal journals.  But what is it you do keep?  What is it that you would want your loved ones to know when you're gone?  It could include anything from thoughts, prayers, poems, stories, videos and pictures; to final wishes, estate plans, and other legal or financial documents and records.  A well-known financial guru, Dave Ramsey, writes about that aspect in his blog here that you may want to read.  Whatever it is, don't wait until it's too late to start getting that together for your family and making it available to whomever you want.

And don't forget your digital legacy!  That's more important now than ever.  If you don't want your Facebook, email and other online accounts to live on well after you do, and accessible to entities that may mean harm, be sure to have a plan for those to be closed down when you go.  You can use our free checklist, Managing your Digital Legacy, which can be downloaded and filled out from our website here to help with that. 

Tweet: "With a little forethought you can leave a legacy for your family that is based on your real life, not just based on public record"





Monday, June 16, 2014

SafelyMD Is a Semi-Finalist

We have been selected as a semi-finalist in LiveSTRONG's Big "C" Competition!  Read more in our official Press Release!


Mark H. Snow

SafelyMD Named a Semifinalist in the Big C Competition
Helping families fight cancer by organizing and securely sharing financial, insurance, legal and medical documents and records

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. June 9, 2014’s SafelyMD service was selected as one of 168 semifinalists to move on to the second phase of the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s inaugural Big C competition, aiming to change the way the world lives with cancer. SafelyMD will now compete for one of 20 spots in the contest’s next round, the venture accelerator program.

Headquartered in Libertyville, Illinois, with offices in Champaign Illinois and Columbus, Indiana, SafelyFiled entered the competition in the technology track and is unique because it enables patients and their families to share not only medical data and patient instructions, but makes it easy for family members to efficiently take on certain responsibilities and help coordinate care.

“All 168 entries have the potential to be game changers in improving the lives of people affected by cancer now,” said Heather Wajer, VP of marketing at the LIVESTRONG Foundation. “We’re so thrilled with the quality of the entries and are lucky to have so many entrepreneurs interested in helping cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.”

SafelyMD will benefit not only cancer patients and their families, but anybody caring for someone needing medical care, such as an elderly parent.  SafelyMD’s powerful organizing tools keep mounds of paperwork secure, organized and easy to find and share.  Hospitals and medical professionals also benefit because the patient and anyone helping manage the care have instant access and can present critical information to health care providers as soon as it’s requested.

Given the growing trend for patients to be active participants with their healthcare providers as they manage their treatment, SafelyMD gives patients an important tool to be meaningful and organized members of the treatment team.  Designed for the average computer user, SafelyMD has the potential to help millions of families in the U.S. and around the world.

The 168 remaining entries represent possible solutions to the biggest challenges people affected by cancer face following a diagnosis, according to LIVESTRONG Foundation research. Of the remaining ventures, 20 will move on to the venture accelerator phase from July 14-Sept. 15, where contestants will be paired with cancer survivors and business mentors to turn their ideas into action. On Sept. 29, five finalists will be announced and flown to Austin, Texas, to present their innovations during the Ride for the Roses weekend, where the grand prize winner will be selected. Sixty ventures will receive a total of $140,000 in seed funding, based on their innovation’s utility, ingenuity and benefits to cancer patients and survivors. The grand prize winner will receive $25,000.

About SafelyFiled. com, LLC (SafelyFiled) is an Illinois company with offices in Libertyville and Champaign Illinois. Founded in 2011, SafelyFiled offers highly secure, online document storage, organization and sharing services for individuals, families and small businesses.  It’s SafelyMD service is designed to provide families with a way to organize and share medical and related documents and records.  It is the easiest to use and most organized service of its kind available. SafelyFiled also offers both white label sites and application licensing. With users based in the United States and other nations, a SafelyFiled account is accessible from anywhere in the world.  For more information visit www. or visit SafelyMD’s submission in the Big competition at - /project/e1b0f83c-1fc0-9884-898c-eecfa2cdc93c

About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. Created in 1997, the Foundation is known for providing free cancer support services and advocating for policies that improve access to care and quality of life. Known for its powerful brand – LIVESTRONG – the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has served 2.5 million people affected by the disease and raised more than $500 million to support cancer survivors. One of America's top non-profit organizations, the Foundation has been recognized by industry leaders including Charity Navigator, the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau for its excellent governance, high standards and transparency. For more information, visit

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Terrific Twos!

Today, SafelyFiled turns 2!  On 11 Jun 2012, we opened up our operations in a small office on the University of IL campus.  We had computers, furniture, a problem to solve for millions world-wide and a vision!


Day One - SafelyFiled Office Set Up
Since we're only 2 years old, we know that most of the world has no idea who we are and why we exist. So, we thought we'd use our second birthday as an opportunity to re-introduce ourselves.

The photo to the right was taken on day one in the office.  Our Chief Engineer, Dr Susan Hinrichs and our CTO, Terri Caldwell, are pictured here sitting on the floor.  We had just set up our office (behind the glass wall in the background) for our summer interns from the University of IL.  Susan was a lecturer at the University until we gave her so much work to do at SafelyFiled she had to give that up. Her expertise is in computer and network security.  Terri Caldwell is a retired Air Force veteran and recently retired from Cisco Systems with expertise in program management, software testing and process certification.  She lives and works out of our Columbus IN office.

Our COO, John Dore, and CEO, Mark Snow live and work out of Chicago IL.  They both have previous start-up experience.  Instead of thinking of retiring and playing golf until they can no longer do so, they decided to start a company to help their fellow baby boomers, many of whom are "sandwiched" between caring for elderly parents and assisting young adult children.  You can read more about each of us on our website

Why did we create SafelyFiled?

Mark's dad was an organized man but when he passed away rather suddenly, Mark and his family had a hard time finding all of the paperwork and account information that was needed to close out his estate.  As organized as his dad was, keys to the organization passed away when he did.  Determined to not let the same thing happen to his family, Mark first looked for a solution that already existed to help families with this but couldn't find one that met security requirements, ease-of-use and ability to track both digital and paper files he knew was needed.  So, being entrepreneur-minded, he came up with the idea for SafelyFiled and then brought in Susan to design the security and code the product.  Terri was brought in to help drive the product to completion and help put together a team of interns and contractors to pull everything together.

What's been happening since we started?

Since we've launched our initial version, we've had feedback from our customers and have made many improvements.  SafelyFiled is now available in multiple languages.  We've added features like automatic notice of uploads and easier sharing.  We've launched SafelyMD, a free version of SafelyFiled that is designed to give paramedics instant access to important health information about you.  And we've designed and launched a professional version so accountants, financial planners, elder law attorneys and just about any professional can easily and securely communicate with clients and keep clients organized.

What does the future hold?

Last week our SafelyMD service was selected as a semifinalist in the Livestrong foundation's Big "C" competition, a competition among new businesses with products and service that can help cancer patients and their families manage treatment and care.  The finalists will be chosen in October.  But win or lose, we are proud that our contribution to patient care, not just for cancer patients but for any person and family dealing with a medical or age-related issue, has been recognized.

Though we have clients based overseas, we are in the process of setting up a company based in the UK, so we can provide better service and expand in the European Union.  Working with our European colleagues, we anticipate some interesting challenges and opportunities as we grow outside of the US.

A Big Thank You

To our current and future customers and beta testers!   Thanks for helping us constantly improve our  product; making it even better than we originally imagined.  We look forward to helping you get and stay organized, while generating an avenue for your family's and/or client's involvement as needed.  At the very least, we can simply help you to never lose an important document again.

And to the current staff, Carol, Monica, Susan, Terri, John and Mark, and to all of our interns and contractors, thanks for all your effort, enthusiasm,  and good ideas that have gone into making SafelyFiled the great service that it has become.

Two years old - hard to believe.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Preparing for vacation

While preparing for the big family vacation, I'm using SafelyFiled for trip documentation.  Both for me to access on the road and for my support folks at home to access in an emergency.