Paper vs Digital Document : which is more secure?
Print it, or scan it? Photocopy them or just share the link? If you’ve been toggling between that rock and the hard place lately, you aren’t alone. As the debate between digital and paper hits high C, here’s a hands-on lowdown of which is the safer way to store, access and share information. Especially the kind you don’t want to fall in the wrong hands.
Let’s go with what makes digital safe, first. For one thing, it does away with human intervention (and, by extension, human error), such as forgetting to put the papers in your briefcase, or losing it during commute. Secondly, ‘ability to search & track’ makes it easy to figure out the whereabouts of your digital doc in case it gets ‘lost’ (bonus: The learnings come in handy to strengthen the security protocols). Indeed, digital documents also lend themselves easily to Audit trails. Thirdly, a plethora of storage options means that you can create back-ups for your important digital files easily. Then, digital docs are insulated from natural and man-made hazards like tampering, pilferage, fire, etc.. Finally, and perhaps most significantly, there is more than one way to secure a digital document: Encrypt it, shield it with a password, cocoon it in layers of server protection, handpick people who get access to it or stow it away behind biometric (read retina codes and fingerprints) bars.
How, then, does it all stack up against good old paper? Well, in this overwhelmingly ‘electronic’ day and age, it’s perhaps a source of comfort for some of us that the only device you need to ‘access & retrieve’ information from your paper doc is ‘your eyes’. Paper docs are not compromised by malware and scams, are available in a ‘format’ that will never go obsolete, and cannot be altered without your knowledge by a coding geek sitting miles away.
That said, when juxtaposed against its digital counterpart, paper remains more fragile, ‘tamper-able’ and susceptible to getting lost ‘without a trace’. When you add the breakneck speed of innovation that is fast ironing out the deficiencies digital documents currently carry – be it in areas like disaster recovery, hacker protocols or cloud storage – you realize why the medium is quietly, yet surely, stealing a march over paper. With its fast-evolving security features – coupled with ease of access and flexibility to share – digital seems set to lead the way for a more productive, safe and sustainable tomorrow.
Be it at work or play.