Damaged, lost or stolen gadgets lead to £1 billion digital data loss

Digital dataBack in the not too distant past it was easy to put a value on your media collection: just add-up the number of CDs and videos on your bookshelf and bingo! Understandably burglars were more interested in getting their grubby little hands on your stereo than on your copy of Born in the USA (even though as the first CD ever released it’s now worth a small fortune). However, today things are a little more complicated.

In barely a decade digital media has all but wiped-out its analogue predecessors. Books are being replaced with eReaders, MP3s have consigned CDs to the history books, and on-demand downloads have overtaken DVDs.

It’s great that technology is moving forward at such a pace, but it doesn’t come without its downside. Arguably the biggest drawback is that losing your media player can mean losing all your media. In fact, it’s estimated that theft and problems with gadgets have caused the loss of more than £1 billion of music, apps, films and images in the past two years.

By storing your digital media solely on your gadgets you are asking for trouble. Not only are laptops, tablets and smart phones easy targets for thieves, but newer versions are continually being released to tempt consumers to upgrade.

The solution is simple: first make sure that your gadgets are adequately insured (noting that it’s often cheaper to add electronic equipment to your home insurance policy than to take-out standalone cover), and second back-up all your media online.

Storing your media in the cloud allows you access via a choice of digital devices and you won’t have the hassle of re-downloading your entire media collection if it goes missing. Cloud storage is rapidly becoming big business and there’s a growing choice of providers. Most offer a few GB free and charge a monthly fee depending on your requirements. Average consumers can expect to pay between £20and £50 per year. Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive are currently the biggest players in the market.

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