Almost half of all Kiwis risk losing precious digital memories

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Images and videos are only protected if you save them and back them up properly

Auckland, 9 March 2015 – Almost half of all Kiwis who keep music, photos, and videos digitally risk losing their treasured memories because they don’t back them up properly, according to AA Insurance.

A recent AA Insurance Home Security survey, which interviewed 1,000 Kiwis ages 18+ years, found that 48 per cent of Kiwis who keep their files digitally are in the danger zone because they rarely, if ever, back up them up.

“There are also those who keep their files in only one place, which is generally at home, just like their hard copy photos and home videos,” says Amelia Macandrew, Customer Relations Manager, AA Insurance.  “While 89 per cent of all New Zealanders do have digital files, the majority of these (87 per cent) keep their memories on digital equipment at home. However, there are a small percentage of people who also keep their backed up data at locations away from home – 21 per cent keep it off-site while 19 per cent back it up to an online server.

“This shows just how many of us still haven’t made the behavioural change to protect our data,” she says. “Precious memories of family and friends can be wiped out in an instant. Simply put, if you don’t want to lose your data, back it up and keep it off-site.

“At AA Insurance we receive about 25 contents claims a week involving lost digital data, with 60 per cent related to damaged, stolen or misplaced mobile phones, and the rest related to damaged hard drives,” she says. “While digital equipment can be covered under your contents insurance, personal data isn’t typically the kind of loss that’s insurable, and yet it’s the irreplaceable images and videos of family, friends and life events that customers’ most want back.”

One AA Insurance customer was desperate to retrieve images of his child after dropping and damaging his mobile phone. Fortunately, technicians were able to recover the images, but the experience has highlighted the importance to him of backing up his data.

While ‘impact’ is one of the most common ways to damage digital equipment, the other is liquid, as another AA Insurance customer discovered. He accidentally knocked a glass of water onto his laptop, causing significant internal damage to it, and the loss of all his data.

“Rather than risk losing your data forever, regularly back it up and keep it off-site -  away from your home -or upload to an online service,” says Amelia.

Tips to protect your data and mobile phone:

  • Back it up - Back up your data regularly, keep a copy offsite with online services like iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive, and remember to run anti-virus software.

  • Danger zone - The most common damage to phones and laptops is through impact or liquid so don’t take them where they’ll get knocked,  dropped, or wet - including the loo!

  • Rescue me - If you do damage your phone or laptop, and you’re unable to retrieve the data, take it to a repairer immediately, especially if it’s received liquid damage that can quickly cause corrosion.

  • Never ever – Don’t ever leave your phone exposed to heat, or unattended, such as in an open handbag, on a restaurant table, or on the console of your car.

  • The Blacklist - Once a phone has been reported stolen it won’t work on any of the three main networks that have introduced a blacklisting system. Inform your service provider immediately if your phone goes missing and request it’s locked or blacklisted to prevent someone else using it.

  • Track it - Download a tracking app for your smart phone such as Apple’s Find My iPhone or Android Lost, so as soon as the phone is switched on you can track its location in real time.

  • What’s your number? - Record your phone’s unique 15-digit international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) number so if your phone goes missing you can immediately report it to the police and provide the number for identification. Also let them know if you’ve installed a tracking app.

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association Limited (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 1000+ employees look after 500,000+ customers with more than 1,000,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety New Zealand – the Children’s Charity (as the lead partner of its Beds for Kids programme), Student Volunteer Army and support grassroot school sports via our Big Little Sponsorship sports grant in partnership with Eden Park. We are consistently recognised in industry awards and honours, including being voted the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted General Insurer for 13 years running, named Canstar’s 2023 Home and Contents Insurer of the Year and Outstanding Value Award winner, and currently ranked 7th amongst 100 of New Zealand’s most successful companies in the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015).

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AA Insurance Media Team