When you rent a storage unit, your primary concern is likely ensuring your belongings fit in the space. If you'll be storing sensitive documents or electronic devices that contain personal information, though, you should take time to secure this information against possible theft. Although storage facilities are generally secure, it is better to be safe than sorry, since the last thing you want is to become a victim of identity theft because someone gained access to your information. Here are two ways to secure your personal information before you put it into a storage unit.

Delete or Encrypt Digital Files

If you'll be putting a computer, laptop, USB stick, or other electronic device that stores digital files in storage, you have two options for protecting yourself. You can either clear out all the data on those devices or you can use a program to encrypt your files.

Deleting the files is probably the easiest way to go, but you'll need to do more than simply send files to the recycle bin. Many people don't know this, but deleting files don't actually remove them from the hard disk. It only removes links to the files so the computer can't access them. With the right tools, someone could still uncover "deleted" data.

To permanently erase deleted data, you'll need to scrub the storage drive with a data destruction program such as DBAN. These programs overwrite the deleted file with garbage information to make it completely illegible and unrecoverable, so you don't have to worry about someone trying to recover info from a computer stolen from your unit.

If you want to keep your files, your other option is to secure them using a data encryption program such as TrueCrypt. These programs lock the files (or the entire storage drive) and only the person who knows the password can access them. Be aware, though, you need to store the password somewhere you can get to it; otherwise, you may end up locking yourself out of your files.

Place Papers in a Lockable Container

Documents are a little more challenging to secure in a storage unit. Your best option is to purchase a lockable container to hold information you don't want people to access. Be certain to hide the container in a place that's not easily accessed by a thief who may be looking for valuable stuff to quickly grab and go.

Unfortunately, with enough time and the right tools, even these containers can be broken into. Therefore, it's a good idea to evaluate what you're storing in the unit and why. Really important documents, like social security cards or bank checks, should probably either be kept with you or placed in a safety deposit box.

For more information about keeping your items safe in a storage unit, contact a local facility or visit a website like http://www.flyingtrolleyselfstorage.com/.