One of the best ways to stay out of debt and to stay free is to protect what you have. Of course, this is obvious – you have your house and contents and your car insured, right? But for many of us, the single most valuable thing we have – aside from our house – is our information. But do you really protect yours? And what would be a realistic cost to replace it all?
Of course, I’m talking about your PC or Mac – and you’ve very probably got one or you wouldn’t be reading this; and who hasn’t today in the developed world?
For many people in this day and age, their working, financial and personal lives are more or less totally dependent on their own computer, but the truth is that most people don’t back it up as well and as often as they should – yet should the computer crash and the information contained worth in it is almost priceless – to its owner at least, i.e. you.
Your PC or MAC probably contains a lot of information on your personal finances, as well as things beyond price such as personal photographs and family videos and the like. But all this information is highly vulnerable – to a technical problem like a crash, or to theft or to physical damage through a fire or flood, or even your spilt morning coffee for example! And it’s not even the cost of the computer that’s the problem. After all, they’re getting cheaper and cheaper. But what about all the songs you’ve paid for and downloaded – to say nothing of all the information you need?
The simple fact is that loss or damage to their computer would derail many people’s lives and certainly wouldn’t help as they make efforts on the machine to get themselves free from debt. There are even examples where loss of vital information has contributed to bankruptcy.
And remember, most insurers don’t cover you for data on your computer. So make sure you back up all your electronic data on an external hard disk drive. These are cheap to buy – but could well be the most sensible money you’ve ever spent. Alternatively – store everything in a “cloud” but keep it well protected, note your passwords in a way only you will understand – and stay on top of your data.