Data security is an important concern for everyone around the globe. Our financial information is one of the places where we need to exercise extra caution. We depend on banks to protect our financial and personal information.
But what happens when you have to share that information with someone else, such as when you apply for a loan or need to prove your income for tax purposes? A redacted bank statement is the answer.
By masking your private information, you can safeguard your data while giving others the necessary information they need. This blog will go into the details of what are redacted bank statements and how they can assist you in safeguarding your financial data.
What is "Redaction"?
Hiding or blocking out sensitive information in a document or statement is called "redaction."
The purpose of redacted documents is to prevent unauthorized individuals from viewing your personal information on utility bills, income tax returns, etc.
Redaction is common in legal and financial documents such as court records and bank statements. Personally identifiable information (PII) must be redacted from personal documents to safeguard the individual’s privacy and prevent fraud.
When redacting information from any document, confidential information must first be identified and then covered up or completely removed using software or manual techniques. In a redacted document, confidential information is covered by black bars or boxes.
Why do you need to Redact Information from a Bank Statement?
A redacted bank statement is needed for several purposes at different places. Hence redacting information from a bank statement is important for protecting sensitive financial information from illegal access.
Bank statements contain much personal information like-
- Account Numbers
- Transaction Details
If this information gets into the wrong hands, then get ready to be surprised by how much a fraudster can do with your personal information. Here are some potential dangers of not redacting your bank statements -
Dangers of avoiding Redaction
- Identity Theft
Bank statements contain personal and financial information that thieves can use to commit identity fraud, open credit accounts in your name, and even access your bank account.
- Privacy Invasion
- Your bank statement reveals much private information you do not want others to know, such as your income, spending habits, financial position and investment details.
- If you don't redact this information from your bank statement before sharing it, it can be used against you.
- Suppose your statement gets into the hands of your competitors.
In that case, it can pose a significant risk to your financial security and business operations, damage your reputation and erode trust if your customers/ business partners learn about it.
- Legal Consequences
- Sharing a bank statement without redacting private financial information may also violate laws and regulations that protect financial privacy.
- For example, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) requires financial institutions to protect their customers' nonpublic personal information. Violating it may result in fines or legal action.
- Cybersecurity Risk
- Sharing unredacted bank statements online or via email can also put you at risk of cyberattacks.
- When you share an unredacted bank statement online, you essentially provide cybercriminals with a treasure trove of personal information that they can use for malicious purposes.
- Cybercriminals can use this information for fraudulent activities like accessing your bank account or opening new lines of credit in your name.
- If an unredacted statement gets into the hands of hackers, they can commit crimes like phishing, hacking your account, malware attacks, etc.
What Information should be Redacted from a Bank Statement?
Common information that must be redacted from a bank statement is:
- Account Number
- Social Security Number
- Transaction Details
- Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
It’s also important not to redact too much information so the purpose of sharing your statement remains unfulfilled.
If you're unsure about what information to redact from your bank statement, it's always a good idea to seek advice from a lawyer or financial expert.
They can help you identify the information that should be hidden to protect your privacy and ensure that your bank statement is legally compliant.
Common Mistakes to avoid while Redacting Bank Statements
While redacting information from a bank statement, here are some common mistakes to avoid-
- Do not try to cover or modify your details with fake or fraudulent information while redacting bank statements.
- Ensure that all confidential information, including account numbers, transaction details, residential addresses, etc., is redacted.
- Do not forget to redact any third-party information, such as a joint account holder's name or account number.
- Be aware of metadata embedded in the document, which can reveal information such as document creation date and location.
- Use a reliable redaction tool like Redactable to ensure that all irrelevant information is properly hidden and that no traces of redaction are left visible.
- Double-check the redacted version of the bank statement to ensure your safety.
- Tear hard copies of your statements/ cheques while disposing of them so they cannot be pieced together.
How to Redact Information from a Bank Statement
- Manual Redaction
If you have a hard copy of your bank statement, you can redact your personal information using a black marker or pen to cover up the information you want to keep private.
Simply black out the information you don't want to share, ensuring it's completely covered and unreadable. Hold your papers against a light source to confirm everything is properly hidden.
However, redaction by hand is tiring, time-consuming, and prone to human errors. Chances are you will miss out on something.
- Making Edits to a PDF file
If you have a digital copy of your bank statement in PDF format, you can use a PDF editor such as Adobe Acrobat to redact your information.
Open the PDF file in the editor, select the text or images you want to redact and use the redaction tool to black out or remove the selected information.
You can then save and share a copy online or take a printout and submit a physical copy if you have to. Make sure you keep a copy of the original documents always.
- Redaction by tools
Many software tools and platforms provide redaction features to help you easily redact sensitive information. Here are some examples:
- Microsoft Word: If you have a digital copy of your bank statement in a Word document, you can use the highlighter tool to cover up your details or leave a blank space in place of the information.
- Bank sites: Many banks allow you to download your bank statement in a redactable format, which means you can easily share a redacted bank statement without any worries.
- Google Docs: If you have an online copy of your bank statement, open it in Google Docs, and you can edit it using the black highlighter tool to redact the information that is not needed.
- Redactable: Redactable is a tool specifically designed for redacting information from documents. You can upload your bank statement on the platform and use Redactable to easily cover up confidential information.
Consider using a reliable and efficient redaction tool to redact your bank statement properly. These tools automatically detect the information that needs to be redacted and mask it to protect your privacy.
While several redaction tools are available today, Redactable stands out because of its features like redaction wizard, redaction workflow and collaborative redaction. Let us learn about Redactable in detail.
What is Redactable?
Redactable is a cloud-based redaction platform built to redact your documents so your confidential information remains safe and secure. Redactable’s machine learning algorithms automatically detect and redact sensitive information from your documents.
Redactable is a versatile redaction platform that recognizes and removes text in multiple languages. It has advanced features like customizable redaction, document sharing, and more, making it appropriate for various use cases like legal and healthcare.
Redactable’s free version lets you view, print, redact and sign PDF documents, while the paid version offers additional features like creating, editing and converting documents within a file. You can effectively and permanently redact all your documents with a single click.
Why is Redactable a better choice?
Redactable is certainly a reliable tool for creating a redacted bank statement. Here’s why you can trust Redactable-
With Redactable, you can redact your bank statements quickly and easily. In just 2.5 minutes, you can permanently redact ten pages of a document(on an average), which is 8x faster than manual methods. Redactable also allows you to select multiple documents and redact them simultaneously.
Redactable offers an "Undo" feature that allows you to undo your last redaction. This way, even if you forget to save a copy of your document, you can always access your information.
You can also use the "Track Changes" feature to accept or reject the redactions made to a document. At the same time, nobody other than you can reverse the redactions made to your document.
With Redactable, you can be sure your data has been permanently redacted, including metadata and hidden data. No information can be seen, leaked, or hacked from the statement.
Redactable works with all different sizes and formats of files like pdf, jpg, PNG, etc., so you know you can redact not only your bank statement but all other documents in different formats that contain your PII and need to be shared without revealing any personal information.
Redactable can also protect them by enforcing passwords. Only the people who have those passwords will be able to access your files.
Redactable’s plans are affordable and reasonable compared to other tools like Adobe Acrobat. The monthly pro plan starts at $49, and the monthly pro plan billed annually starts at $375. What’s more? You can try it for free here; no credit card is required!
With identity theft and fraud rising, safeguarding your personal and financial information must be a priority. Bank statements contain information that nobody wants to share willingly. But if you have to share one, share a redacted bank statement.
Using reliable tools and double-checking everything before sharing them with anyone is essential. You will never regret using Redactable in this case. This user-friendly software can accurately and quickly redact your statements.
Try Redactable today and see how easy it can be to safeguard your information.