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My neighbour on the next corner of Business Times estate, Chimwemwe Kanyenda is an insurance prolific scribe and is in the business of indemnity; the nirvana of insurance, the idea that insurance catapults you into status quo after misfortune befalls. Ever thought of data indemnity?
I have said this before, I will now rub it on you; your computer, tablet or smartphone is not interminable. Like treasure of this world it is corruptible. Your computer can die, get stolen or an exaggeratedly possessive spouse can smash it against a concrete wall.
“Because you will not live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself, learn from other people’s mistakes,” so goes the panel-beaten old adage. In computer lexicon this would read like this: “Learn from British Airways that forgot to backup because if you don’t, like the biblical Job, you will curse the day you were born”.
Data backup is serious business. Having three copies of the same file on the same hard disk is a hoax. If your computer crashed, your data would go crashing with your PC. And there are happy-go-lucky fellows who are gratified with a copy of their work on a flash disk; behold, the flash disk is so tiny that it is so easy to lose.
Flash disks change hands as often as people greet each other. That compromises the integrity of the data. How can you be sure about the viral load of your friend’s computer where your flash last plugged into?
Because your computer is not just about data but settings, apps you pirated from you-know-where and software updates that chewed a lot of your data bundles, you may need to backup the entire software ecosystem. Hungry to sound a little different and impress, computer nerds call that cloning.
A clone backup is your computer spare tyre (no need to misunderstand me). Should your hard drive crash you simply act as you would when a tyre bursts.
A backup is not if it is not stored in two locations at one time. To obey this law, get yourself an external disk; backup all work files and store at a safe place. You do not have to painstakingly pick a file at a time; backup software can slave for you. There are many good free ones on the internet. Do the initial backup and thereafter the software is intelligent enough to only backup files that have changed.
If you think this all there is to backup, I got one final surprise for you: we are not done just yet. A problem arises when, God forbid, both sets of backup get destroyed at once; one lost while the other engulfed in an inferno. This is when cloud backup comes into the equation.
All you ever need is an internet connection; no cash to pay. Google gifts you 15GB worth of cloud space with each Gmail account. Dupe Google, create as many accounts as your data will require. Microsoft has SkyDrive. Or why not DropBox or Apple Cloud?
Data stored in the cloud is very safe. These are reputable companies and they won’t store your data in one location. So let them worry about locations whilst you enjoy your life.
I have spent myself to give it to you in good measure; don’t be gullible and pay up when some chamba-smoking hacker creates WannaCry ransomware.

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