Tag Archives: insurance

The sound of silence

According to new research from Which? a third of British home insurers offer no cover for ‘digital information’, which means that, if you’ve bought music online and anything happens to your laptop or MP3 player, you could be listening to the sound of silence unless you’re willing to stump up again for the cost of replacing your music collection.

Which? also found that just four of the eight largest download stores allow you to re-download tunes in the event that they are lost or stolen.

One solution, if you’re at risk of losing your music, is to find an insurance provider that will reimburse you for the loss of your digital data, however, it’s important to remember that it’s not just copyright material that you could be losing.  Whilst an insurance company can help you get back the soundtrack to your life, they can’t help buy back the photos of your kids, the journal you wrote on your travels or the emails your wife sent you when you were still dating.

Securing your information with an online backup provider can help you with all of these things.  Keeping an encrypted copy of your information in the Cloud means that, should anything happen to the original, whether it’s on a laptop that gets stolen or an MP3 player that gets lost on a night out, you can simply download it again to another device.

So, if you want the band to play on forever, perhaps online backup will be music to your ears.

Baggage backup: online protection for when your suitcase goes on holiday without you

Coming back to work after a summer holiday can be a depressing business, what with having to exchange barefoot walks on the beach for cramping work shoes under the desk, and swapping tropical cocktails for a carton of 5Alive to accompany a limp sandwich at lunctime.

But it’s the backlog of emails many of us dread most. Perhaps this is why, according to the Institute of Leadership & Management, 80 per cent of us will have been regularly responding to emails whilst on holiday.

But those of us who are packing our laptops in with our suntan lotion and flip-flops might be least equipped when they return to the office as many will find that their computers don’t return with them.

According to SITA, 25 million bags going through airports were ‘mishandled’ last year (‘mishandled’ is a nice way of saying that they don’t turn up in the same place as you do rather than suggesting that those naughty baggage handlers have been lifting them by the extending trolley handle, which we all know causes long-term damage to our luggage).

And, if you’re flying back to Heathrow, your chances of arriving laptop-in-hand are even slimmer, given that research from the Ponemon Institute shows that it’s Europe’s black-spot airport for laptop loss with over 900 mislaid every week (‘mislaid’ is a nice way of saying nicked in most cases).

So, if you’re reading this as a distraction from sifting through a week’s worth of email, you’re actually one of the lucky ones. Feel better now?

Of course, those travellers who chose to back their computers up with Mozy could have the best of both worlds. They get to take their laptops on holiday with impunity, safe in the knowledge that, if it’s the laptop that ends up going walkabout on their walkabout adventure, all their emails and other files can just be downloaded to another computer.

So, if there’s someone sat near you looking smug with a tan and a new laptop, they’ve probably got Mozy (or a sugardaddy). Check out Mozy here for more information and to help make sure that feeling of holiday relaxation stays with you longer.

Travel Insurance

Murphy’s law states that, “if anything can go wrong, it will.” In most cases, you can extend that to say, “…at the worst possible time.”

Or so it can seem when you’re getting ready to leave for your holiday and go to print out all of your travel documents. If you’ve gone online to get the best deals, there’s probably a lot of paper work for you take with you – an eTicket for the plane, an online reservation form for the hotel, a travel insurance policy, a car-hire agreement and any manner of other things that you might have arranged in advance.

So, having just checked in online, and scrolling through your documents to choose what to print out, this is quite possibly the worst time for your computer’s hard drive to fail. And that’s when Murphy’s law steps in and sends your computer into meltdown.

How are you going to get the documents you need in time to make your flight?

Shouting very loudly at the computer is usually the first thing to try, accompanied by banging the desk. Following that, begging the computer to start up again, questioning the legitimacy of its parenthood, and prayer seem like good options. Once these avenues have been fully explored, you’ll probably move on to more practical solutions.

If you’re lucky, your suppliers will have emailed some of the documents you’ve lost to an account you can access over the web. If you’re organised, you’ll have an online backup service that will allow you to get everything back that you need.

An automatic online backup service will quietly log all of your holiday documents as you received them, recognise they are new and copy them to a secure data centre in the Cloud. Without you even noticing, you’ll have saved your bacon.

A quick stop at the internet café at the airport and you can use your backup provider’s web portal to access all of your files and, though you may have to pay the coffee shop 10p a sheet to print out your documents, it feels like a small price to pay to get your hands on your stuff.

Recovering everything else you might have lost can be simply done when you return from your holiday. And, after a week in the sun, you might just have relaxed and calmed down enough to face your computer again.