If you have a significant amount of important personal paperwork (such as wills, a birth certificate, financial documents or a house deed) which you would prefer others not to read or have access to, you will need to choose a safe place to store it. Here are two ways to do this:
Keep your documents in a safe
One of the best ways to protect your paperwork from prying eyes is to store it in a secure safe.
A safe comes with either an electrically or mechanically-operated locking system, which can only be opened using a specific digital code, combination or physical key. It is next to impossible for someone without this code, combination or key to gain access to a safe's contents. Breaking a safe's lock requires specialist tools and a level of expertise which the vast majority of people do not have.
The walls of a safe are also usually made from extremely robust materials (such as steel or titanium) and as such, you don't have to worry about somebody opening the safe by using a saw or other tool to cut through its exterior walls.
Safes can, however, be very expensive; the ones which offer a very high level of security can cost several hundred (or even thousands) of dollars. As such, if you are on a budget, it might be sensible to shop around for second-hand safes, as a high-quality used safe that is in good condition will usually provide a greater level of protection than a brand new, cheaper model.
If you do choose to purchase a used safe, it is advisable to view it in person before buying it, as this will give you a chance to thoroughly examine it and make sure that it is in good working order.
The exterior walls should be free from holes, deep scratches or other forms of damage which could potentially make the safe less secure. Additionally, the locking mechanism should be fully functional. If the lock is mechanical, make sure that there are no signs of corrosion on its metal components, as this form of deterioration could make it easier for a thief to break.
A locked desk drawer
If for whatever reason, you do not wish to purchase a safe, you may want to consider buying a high-quality lock for one of your desk drawers and storing your paperwork in there instead.
The biggest downfall with using a locked desk drawer is that, unlike a safe, which can be bolted to a wall or floor so that thieves cannot carry it away with them, a desk could potentially be picked up and removed by a determined thief.
As such, this option will not offer the same level of protection against theft that a safe would, but is a good alternative if your main goal is to prevent other household members or colleagues rifling through your personal documents.
Make sure that you invest in the best lock you can afford, as a flimsy padlock will not do much to protect your belongings.
Depending on the design of your desk and the type of lock you choose, you may need to hire a locksmith to perform the installation. Contact a company like Askwith Company for more information and assistance.