Last week, a friend I frequently exchange texts with grabbed me and said, “Tell me your phone number!” She had a desperate, end-of-days look in her eyes. So I didn’t ask why, I just told her and watched as she plugged it into her phone. Then she told her tale of woe: She had dropped her iPhone (in a pool I think) and destroyed it. “The Apple store was great. They replaced it instantly,” she told me. “And I thought, no big deal I’ll just restore everything from my computer.” But when she sat down at the computer to do that, she remembered her husband had been trying to fix some awful problem it was having and had replaced – or wiped – its hard drive. Everything on her phone was gone: photos, phone numbers, addresses, emails, appointments for her small business. Everything. And her life since had become a struggle to recapture what she could – there is no getting back the photo of the incredible cake she had just finished for a client or the video of her daughter’s birthday party.

Yesterday, McAfee launched a new product designed to prevent this sort of personal disaster: McAfee All Access. And, as part of promoting that product, the company did a survey that asked people all over the world what they think the data on their phones, tablets, and computers are worth. The average number worldwide was $37,438. “In the U.S.,” though, said the report on the study. “People valued their assets at a higher figure than anywhere else, at nearly $55,000.” (More than my car is worth.) And my friend did seem to be in a post-trauma mood about equivalent with waking up and finding her car gone.

I know I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: Back up your data. It isn’t a matter of “if” your device will be destroyed, lost or stolen, it’s a matter of “when.” It will happen. Don’t let that drawer of obsolete phones and the old computers in the attic lull you into thinking you will always have that thing. Back up! Backing up to an external hard drive is a good idea. But cloud (in the Internet) backup will cover you if something happens to your house or all the hardware in it.

I have not yet tried McAfee’s new product – McAfee All Access – yet but here is a quick rundown on how it aims to prevent this sort of personal loss (for  $99.99 US annually for an individual or $149 for a household.)

  • Protect Data – Backup and restore data on smartphones, tablets and PCs. Remotely locate, lock and wipe mobile devices. Misplaced smartphone at home? Make it “scream” to easily find it.
  • Safeguard Internet Activities – Block risky sites. Safely share content. Protect email and IM.
  • Secure Consumers’ Systems – Anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall protects against malware and hackers. Wireless Internet at home is also protected.
  • Monitor Kids and Teens – Parents can supervise kids’ activities including Internet and social network use, or actively filter inappropriate content including YouTube videos and explicit music lyrics.
And here is a video explaining how this product backs up and protects all your devices:

I’ll take it for a spin and let you know what I think. But the idea is a good because it not only backs up your data but also protects it from malware and keeps it from being used by anyone who might get it after you lose it. And making my husband’s phone “scream” every time he loses it sounds like fun.


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2 thoughts on “What’s worth more? Your data or your car?”

  1. Lookout on Android does automatic cloud backup of contacts, SMS, non-Gmail email, and photos, and is not a McAfee product, which makes it all the better.

  2. In old days, we used to put the important photos in the photo album; moments on diary; phone number on notebook. It is easy to find what we need as there are no alternative places to put most of these information and memory. However, if there is a fire at your home, all these valuable stuffs will be gone and you have no way to find other copies.

    Things are completely different nowadays. Digital technology has made our life easier, but at the same time, more complicated. With all the laptops, tablets, smartphones, we put our memories everywhere. What I am trying to say is that the norm and practice of keeping one’s memories and information is changing, and people should be made aware of these issues and be empowered to make their own decision on embracing new convention and services like All Access.

    Re:memory is my project aim at arousing awareness among the generation Y on issues of Digital Memory. People will get a serendipitous experience after uploading their memories.

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