Frequently Asked Questions
Is it secure?
We take your security very seriously.
We use the latest encryption methods for all aspects of our services from your payment information to every document added to your account or shared with a specified person.
Where are my documents stored?
Your documents are stored securely in the cloud, in specialist storage services managed by AWS who provide our cloud storage.
You can choose to store your documents in servers located in either the UK, or USA.
We are always happy to consider other storage locations on request.
Why do I have to add my credit card details to signup for the free trial?
Your credit card allows us identity validation, we need to be sure that real people are signing up for PAC’s services. You won’t be billed anything on the credit card until after the trial period is completed, or you choose to upgrade your subscription.
If you cancel your free trial before the end of the trial period, your credit card will NOT be billed. You can cancel your free trial at any time during the trial period without being charged.
How can I cancel my personal archive subscription?
You can cancel anytime through the manage account screen.
Whilst we will be sad to see you go we enable you to download all your documents easily and hassle free before the account is removed and all your documents deleted. Just follow the instructions on the delete account button
How secure are my documents with personal archive?
Your data is in safe hands. Our management team has been looking after documents in the cloud for many household names for the past twenty years. We use industry security standards and best practice guidelines to ensure that your information is secure and private. Our security is based on multiple levels starting with AWS infrastructure moving through database and file level encryption to ensure we keep your documents safe.
Can I upgrade or downgrade my account after sign up?
You can upgrade or downgrade your personal archive account whenever you need to. We will automatically calculate the amount against your subscription payment plan and adjust the charge on your next payment.
Is my money refunded in case I cancel my account?
If you cancel your account during the free trial period, your credit card will never be charged. If you cancel after the free trial, your cancellation will take effect immediately and your credit card will not be charged in the future, but you will not receive a refund for payments already made. All your data will be deleted from our servers when your account is cancelled.
Is there an audit log?
Every activity to do with a document, either by you or the people you share it with, is logged in the audit trail. You can check this audit trail at any time to see who has accessed your documents, and when, and how.
Can I share movies and music using it?
This is not a platform for sharing movies or music.
You can upload personal photos, movies, and audio files if you want to, but you can’t share that with large groups of people here. We also charge you for the space you use, so hosting large files on this platform will get expensive.
If you want to share pirated content, then there are many free online storage services for that. But we’re not one of them.
In line with EU legislation, and in common with many other document sharing platforms, we implement content filters to detect illegal content.
Are my documents encrypted?
Yes. Your documents arrive at our server encrypted, and we then re-encrypt them for storage in such a way that only you and the people you share them with can view your documents.
I’ve been invited to create an account by someone I know (my accountant / lawyer / family member)
Great news, your (accountant/lawyer/ family member) uses this platform to securely manage and share documents.
They have some documents to share securely with you and now you need to register for a free account. Just follow the link they sent you and follow the simple registration instructions.
The Free account allows you unlimited access to the documents shared by your accountant and you can load as many documents as you need to to share back with your accountant.
You can event upload and manage up to 20 of your own documents. Don’t worry no one else can see them – unless of course you choose to share some with someone else. Then you can invite that person to register for their own account.
What is a quick share?
Quickly create download or upload links
Download allows a recipient to access a specified document from your account – and alerts you when this is done. Don’t forget to send the password separately from the link.
Upload link allows someone to securely upload a document to your account so you can access it and file it away.
You control the number of times a link can be used or set a date when it expires
Are there any restrictions on what I can upload?
You are responsible for everything you upload.
There is a file limit of 4GB.
We would warn against adding Copyrighted content that you do not have permission to copy.
Or Content that is illegal to possess in your country.
The platform is not designed for sharing large files such as movies or music.
What happens if I upload a document with a virus?
Nothing. We don’t check for viruses.
We don’t open documents so the virus would not affect us.
If you open it you may get infected or if you send it to someone, and they open it, they’ll be infected.
Virus checking your documents is your responsibility.
Can I share documents?
Yes, there are two ways to share documents.
Quick Shares for ad hoc sharing and share invitations for regular sharing
To invite someone to share simply go to Organise / Share and follow the instructions to set up and send an invite.
How do I share documents?
For ad hoc sharing send a quick link to the document you want to share
If you have invited someone to share simply add the #to their name tags to any documents you want them to see.
When they load documents for you to see their account adds a #from their name tag so you will always know who shares with you.
How do I find my documents?
Search for a #tag or combination of #tags using the Search and filter functions.
#tags allow you to tag all documents with a similar subject, or type, or origin, or purpose, or whatever. Documents can have as many tags as you like, creating a new tag for a specific purpose is simple. For example, you can tag all your airplane tickets with #ticket, and all your documents to do with your holidays with #holiday. To find your tickets for your holiday, search for #ticket and #holiday together. It’s that simple.
You can also search for documents by their filename. If you know what a document is called, just search for it or part of the word used to name it.
How do I create a folder view?
You can keep commonly-accessed documents in folders on your main page. A folder is a group of documents specified by tags. It provides a shortcut to documents you need to find quickly. Or a collection of documents that you need to work on. Or for any other purpose.
Can I manage document retention?
Yes. Tags can also have a retention period. The system works out the longest retention period on all the tags on a document to calculate the document’s retention date.
When a document’s retention date is past, the system lets you know that you should delete this document. The deletion is added to the audit trail for the document. The audit trail remains available even after the document has been deleted.
It’s good practice to delete documents when they pass their “use by date”, don’t forget you need to keep tax documents for at least seven years.
It’s good practical advice to set deletion dates so your files don’t get cluttered. You can’t do this with paper or classic computer filing systems.
Can I access my documents from my smartphone?
Yes, this website is accessible through your phone browser as normal. You can use all the website features from your phone, though obviously the available space is reduced so it might be awkward at times.
How many people can I share documents with?
As many as you like. We do not limit the amount of clients or family/friends you can share with.
What if I die or become incapacitated, can someone get into my account?
Not unless you give them permission beforehand. We recommend that you give permission to see all your important documents to whoever you appoint as executor of your will, so that in the event of your death they have all the documents they need to perform that task.
What if I change my mind about letting someone see a document?
Just delete the tag that gives them permission to see it from the document. Or remove the permission that allows them to see it from the tag.
Note, however, that they may have taken a copy of the document while they could see it. There is no way of preventing that (just like with paper documents) and there is no way of controlling their access to that copy.
What if I have paper documents that I still want to save?
Personal archive makes it easy to find them. Just scan or take a picture and specify the location of the original when you upload to your account. Use the digital copy for reference, and Personal archive will tell you where to look if you need the original.
What if I want to update a stored document?
Just upload the new version. The Personal Archive Co will store the new version alongside the old one. You can view the version history of a document and access older versions easily.
This is not designed as a collaborative workspace. It does not provide tools for multiple people to edit a document simultaneously, or any ability to compare changes between versions.
The account provides you with certainty that a document stored here is a true copy of the original – no one can edit or change it.
Can I select a number of my documents and download them all at once?
Yes, simply create a search with the #tags you want and hit download. All documents will be downloaded into a zip file.
The original documents will remain within your account.
How do I delete one or more documents?
You can select one or more documents in the list view (check the box next to each) then hit the delete option at the top right of the list.
You can also delete a document in the document display window by clicking the delete button.
What is document replication?
If you have documents shared to you by another person and you want to add your own #tags or need to ensure you have a copy even if they delete the document from their Personal Archive Co account then you need to replicate the document so it becomes one of your documents.
Replicate can be done from the document window or from the list view.
What happens to my documents when I close my account?
The account closing process provides you with an opportunity to download all your documents into one or more zip files depending on the size of your documents.
Simply follow the instructions.
Whether you download or not, once you confirm cancelation all your docunents and related data will be deleted.