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Thursday, May 2, 2013

SafelyFiled vs Dropbox

We get this question often and it's a legitimate one!  Since it has come up so often, we thought we'd write a blog about it in the hopes that it will help everyone understand there's a need for both Dropbox and SafelyFiled.

Dropbox is a great tool.  With Dropbox, you have a copy of all of your files downloaded on all of your devices so you can access them offline and yet they are backed up for you in the cloud.   Dropbox allows file sharing which is great for productivity with colleagues, family and friends.  They explain that your files are secure both during transmission and when backed up on their servers.  But the files are also kept on your personal devices and they are not encrypted there.   They also allow third party Apps to access your files (user configurable) which could be a risk.  If you want to share a file with someone who is not a Dropbox member then you can do so, but you do that by emailing a link.  Anyone who might have access to your email, like someone who installed a sniffer on one of the servers that help transmit your email, has access to the link and the file.

So What About SafelyFiled?

Here's where SafelyFiled is different.  First, the types of files we're recommending you keep in SafelyFiled are not collaborative work files (although you could do that).  We are a secure filing and organizational system for very important, sensitive, legal and personal files.  Things like your will, insurance policies, estate planning documents, medical records, tax documents, military documents, birth certificates, and the like. Paperwork that you would usually file in a physical safe deposit box or a fire-safe box or other safe place at home. Paperwork that your loved ones or legal representatives might need if something happens to you.

These are not the types of files that you want to keep a copy of on your mobile devices where they could be accessed if the device ends up in the wrong hands or if that device is lost or damaged.  To be honest, files sitting on your computer aren't always as safe as you might think.  Bad sectors on a hard drive can damage the file or Malware and Trojan viruses could infiltrate your files and even transmit them to a bad guy without your knowing it.

With SafelyFiled, everything is uploaded online into our secure servers.  You would simply use a scanner or our mobile App to create a digital image of those documents.  Then the uploads are done simply with drag and drop, like Dropbox.  But you must first log into your SafelyFiled account before you can drag and drop them in.  By logging in, you activate the security and all your files are then transmitted encrypted and stored encrypted.  When you log in to look at one of your files, your files are decrypted and you can view your documents without having to download them first.  You can even view them on your smart phone or tablet, at home or away.

SafelyFiled is also an organizational system.  We provide a unique meta data section where you can not only title your documents, but you can add unique tags, write notes (like you'd do on a sticky note on physical files), add the physical location of the originals of documents that you do need to keep paper copies of (like wills, birth and death certificates which have the original certified seal), and you can specify who the document pertains to (a specific family member for example).  You can set reminders on documents in the event you need to take action on something in the future (like a warranty that will expire) and you don't want to rely on your memory to remind you.  All of this meta data makes it extremely easy to find something very quickly.

Our File Participation Model

We allow file sharing; but it's done very differently than Dropbox.  In SafelyFiled, you can invite others to share files via a simple invitation process.  An email is sent as an invitation, but its not a link to your document, it's a link to SafelyFiled where they must accept the invitation, create their own log in and password, and get validated as the right recipient with an additional access code sent to their cell phone or email address you've input during the invitation process.  When you invite someone, you receive confirmation of their acceptance so you can make sure you're sharing your files with the intended person.  Plus, you can terminate their sharing privileges at any time.  There are activity logs built in too. Any action taken on your account, whether by you or someone you've invited,  is logged.  You can see what was done, when it was done and who did it.  Nothing happens on your files without a record of it.

Dual Authentication

We have dual authentication implemented on SafelyFiled.  You can opt to have that turned on all the time, none of the time, or only if someone (or you) tries to access your SafelyFiled account from a device other than one you've indicated as private (recommended).  Even if someone could guess your log in and password they still could not gain access to your files as they would also need the access code which is sent to your cell phone or email which is on file with us.

Bottom line?  

There is a need for both Dropbox and SafelyFiled.  A good metaphor would be, use Dropbox as you'd use a briefcase and SafelyFiled as you'd use a safe deposit box.  However, unlike a physical safe deposit box you can now access all of your important files from anywhere at anytime and you can give keys to whomever you want.  Even better, invitees with a key can't see every file in your box, only what you give them access to!

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