digital storage best practices, data storage best practices, cloud storage best practices

Digital storage is attractive to FFL businesses because they provide easy sharing, syncing of data, ease of use, and are relatively inexpensive when compared to the costs of housing and maintaining in-house paperwork. It’s always important to take proper precautions, so that your business and employees are properly and safely using cloud storage. These 4473 digital storage best practices are here to help guide you through the key ideas before you sign on the dotted line.

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Digital Storage Best Practices

Do ThisNot That
Research 4473 digital storage providers.Make a decision without reviewing options.
Utilize your office facilities.Throw out all of your physical storage. 
Use encrypted digital storage in a tamper evident file format.Forget to change your passwords regularly.
Give access only to relevant employees.Share your passwords.
Take your cloud storage for a test drive. Leave your digital storage open and unattended.
Get a variance beforehand.


Research 4473 digital storage providers.

There’s a long list of cloud storage providers, but there are few specialized in digital storage for ATF forms. Before you commit to any cloud provider, make sure they check off and meet all of your needs. A digital storage provider should be transparent about everything you’ll need in order to ensure your business is maintaining compliance and security.

Give access only to relevant employees.

Allowing access to your digitally stored documents gives a lot of responsibility to whomever you grant access. That’s why with 4473 Cloud there are 4 distinct permission levels: user, admin, super admin, and account owner. Each status has varying capabilities, so you are able to assign permissions based on what makes sense for your business.

Use encrypted digital storage in a tamper evident file format.

Encrypting digital storage data is just as important as changing your passwords. Doing so gives you one more line of defense and protection against those with malicious intent. Protection is key, and encryption is paramount! Arguably more important then making sure that your documents are stored in a Tamper Evident file format.

ATF Required Notification.

In order to even consider 4473 digital storage, you will need to meet the ATF’s required 60-day notification of intent to store your 4473s digitally. If this seems like an intimidating step, don’t fret! With 4473 Cloud, we help you send that email to the local ATF Field Division. Once that 60 days has elapsed you are on the road to a paper free environment.

Take your cloud storage for a test drive.

Before you make a decision on your 4473 cloud provider, you might want to get behind the wheel first. Great idea! Your digital storage provider should give you the opportunity to test drive and provide a full refund if it doesn’t meet your needs.

Utilize your office facilities.

Because you’ll be freeing up so much space where the papers would be in your office area, now you’re free to dream! There are tons of options for what to fill your newfound space with; we even wrote an article to help you start ideating.


Make a decision without reviewing options.

There’s no harm in shopping around to ensure you’re making the best decision for your business. Some types of storage have features which will suit your business better than others. For example, 4473 Cloud is platform agnostic, meaning you have all of the flexibility to incorporate your e4473 system into 4473 Cloud without the worry of having to switch platforms altogether.

Throw out all of your physical storage.

Speaking to ATF Form 4473’s specifically, you must notify ATF before you can start using digital storage. The 60-day notification is simple and something that we can help you with, but don’t go tossing out your physical 4473’s!  Even after you start loading your digital e4473s into 4473 Cloud, you have to retain those legacy paper records as required under the regulations or until a ruling is issued that allows those old paper forms to be scanned and stored digitally.

Forget to change your passwords regularly.

For healthy security practices, it’s always a great idea to change your passwords regularly. Even with top tier security measures like 4473 Cloud uses, changing passwords just takes it one step further to protect your files. If you’re using suggested or complicated passwords, a password manager like Dashlane or 1Password always comes in handy.

Share your passwords.

Oh, the power of passwords! We can’t stress enough how important they are, and how important it is to NOT share your passwords. If someone logs into your 4473 Cloud account, for example, even if it’s an employee, they will be making changes in your name and have permissions they might not otherwise have.

Leave your digital storage open and unattended.

Just like passwords are important, so is logging out. For example, each user on 4473 Cloud has their own individual log in so all permissions and adjustments that are made are tracked from the user. Processes like these are important to protect the integrity of ATF inspections and internal audits.


As you can see, there are many digital storage best practices, but we’ve distilled it into the most important things to think about when making the switch to the cloud. There are so many benefits to using cloud storage, and ensuring you’re making the right decision and doing your due diligence is key! These 4473 digital storage points are great considerations when you’re in the market for optimizing your ATF Form 4473 storage.

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Travis Glover Sep. 7th, 2021

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