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How to prepare your new device for a digital disaster

by Brian Cody

When you think of a disaster, you probably imagine tornadoes, tsunamis, and earthquakes—environmental events that can devastate a community or continent. Digital disasters are a bit harder to imagine, and that’s because they’re not apparent among the tangible analog affected by similar disasters.  

Digital disasters are characterized by less visible qualities, all of which disturb, damage, or delete the digitalized data, records, and information stored by an individual, company, or organization

These types of disasters can be calculated and often occur as a result of human error or environmental circumstance. Natural events can also influence a digital disaster; in the event that an earthquake destroys an office building and all the computers inside it, this too might qualify as a digital disaster.

Digital disasters can be unpredictable; therefore, knowing how to prepare for a digital disaster is just as important as taking steps to protect property from a natural disaster.

Safeguard Information

Digital disasters are often the result of cyber terrorism, a politically motivated use of computers and IT that causes panic or harm to the public. The size and scope of this type of criminal offense can vary and has caused businesses all over the world to preemptively secure networks and digital data by beefing up security systems.

Individuals should also practice discretion and take the necessary steps to install upgraded anti-virus/malware on each home computer, ensure the use of an encrypted firewall, and add password protection to every account on the computer with a unique password.  

Back Up Important Data

Both individuals and institutions should be regularly backing up data, archives, and other sensitive information. In the event that these files are corrupted or lost due to a cyber threat, having this information duplicated somewhere safe will be an invaluable resource. However, having this digital information on a physical hard drive inside an office or home is not ideal for avoiding a digital disaster.

Just imagine in the event that a fire or flood destroys all the computers in an office building or your home, a backup kept at the same location won’t do you much good. Consider backing up this data to a secure, online cloud-based system. Make sure to investigate the company thoroughly before you sign up for its service. Find out where the servers are located and who else has access to them. Are the servers backed up somewhere else? Third-party services should also be backing up their data.

One of the advantages to cloud-based storage is that you can set it up differently depending on your needs. You may prefer to select individual files, which can then be accessed remotely, or you may choose to automate the process and have your entire computer backed up on a regular basis.  

Consider Cyber Insurance

Just like commercial insurance, cyber insurance is designed to protect companies and individuals from significant financial loss in the event of a digital disaster. Cyber insurance is relatively new, and not as common as other types of commercial insurance like health and workers’ compensation, but worth every penny should disaster strike.

Today, there are several kinds of policies available that cover costs like notification, credit monitoring, and costs to defend claims by state regulators as well as personal lawsuits, fines and penalties, and losses resulting in identity theft.

Cyber and privacy insurances are not the same as technology errors and omission (E&O). It’s important to understand the differences between the two, especially if you think your company is at a greater risk of digital disaster.

Accidents happen, and so do digital disasters. While it’s almost always impossible to prevent something catastrophic, it’s definitely a good idea to have a plan in the event that something does occur. Preparing for a digital disaster will save you both time and money should you ever need to recover lost or damaged data.

Take the time to prepare your new device today, and you’ll be ready if disaster strikes.

Have you got a new device recently? Learn how to let go of your old tech securely and responsibly.

This entry was posted on Wed Feb 01, 2017 filed under how to guides , online safety and optimise your device

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