The insurance you didn’t know you needed
Steve Goh says our ever-growing digital footprint has pushed us to a point where digital insurance is just as important as insurance for our physical valuables or ourselves.
With so much of our lives now online, the way we live has changed drastically, from how we communicate, to how we consume news, to how we share our experiences. Nearly every aspect of our life has become digital in some way: everything from medical information to photographs to even our money. Our digital lives are becoming more and more real, and subsequently, becoming more and more important to protect.
That said, consumers and businesses remain wholly apathetic about backing up their data to insure their digital lives. Why are so many consumers electing to leave their digital selves unprotected and vulnerable? We insure so much else in our life – our homes, our health, our valuables. What will it take to make consumers feel the same way about insuring their data?
Everything is digital
The sheer size of digital information is growing incredibly; IDC projects that the digital universe will reach 40 zettabytes (ZB) by 2020, which is 50 times larger than the digital universe at the beginning of 2010. There is tangible value to the information you have on your digital devices, especially when you consider the time and money it would take to replace and/or recover your data in the event of a hardware malfunction, hard drive crash, or theft.
While it may be easier to put a price tag on your health, or the value of your vehicle, it’s also important to think about the price tag you would put on your “digital self”—and to ensure you can retrieve that information quickly. We bank online, we shop online, we connect online; as more and more of our critical information, from financial records to personal photos, is being stored digitally, we need to make sure that we’re taking the appropriate and necessary steps to not only protect our information, but to also make it quickly and easily retrievable.
Data plus safety
As the size of information we’re storing digitally continues to grow, the chance of loss increases in tandem. Your hard drive has a 50 percent chance of crashing after six years, so the era of only saving information to your computer’s hard drive is rapidly coming to a close. As a whole, consumers tend to think of their device’s memory, or the cloud service they’re using, as permanent ways to store their digital information. We need to shift consumer behaviour to understand that digital files and information won’t survive if it’s not protected and backed up.
So, what will drive the shift? Unfortunately, for most of today’s consumers, the idea of backing up their information will only occur to them once they’ve experienced some type of data loss. We’re at a point where the amount of information people store digitally is drastically larger than the amount they don’t. For the typical user, data backup has not been a prominent issue, but our ever-growing digital footprint has pushed us to a point where digital insurance is just as important as insurance for our physical valuables or ourselves.
Article by Steve Goh, Acronis VP APAC and Emerging Markets.