LoriMT (lorimt) wrote,

My backup plans

I've figured out that I basically have 5 types of stuff that needs backing up: gMail, the rest of my computer, my wallet, my phone and the rest of my belongings.

gMail: Google Gears offline backup, with settings that are very conservative. If anything happens to my account, I'll still have a copy of everything. There's another program called Gmail Backup, but I haven't bothered investigating much.

Other laptop data: Mostly music/files, not a ton. My old laptop got stolen, and I don't miss the data massively, but it's still unfortunate. I think I had an oldish backup to get some back. The new one backs up to an external drive, also sitting on my desk. Good protection against random hardware fail - not against theft or fire. I have a few things in Dropbox, but ran out of room fast (If you want to join, use this and we'll both get more). Should pay up somewhere or use the cross-computer option catbird recommended, especially now that I have a drive lying around. In theory, iluvsheep is building a NAS thingy to store at Jay St or Buddha Lounge, but in practice I think it's still on the floor here, and is moderately inconvenient for syncing with a Mac. Also installed Prey, which may help track it down if stolen and have a TigerTag on it, in case someone finds and wants to return it.

Wallet: I emailed myself a list of card names/types, plus "report if lost" numbers, plus the names of all the other cards. For security, this doesn't include my name or the card numbers at all. Need to do: add a contact info card for emergencies. Should add a TigerTag for good measure.

Phone: Easy - it's Android, so mostly backed up. Latitude should be on, meaning I might even be able to track it down. When I dropped it before, texting my office number to it let the guy who found it get it back to me, letting me save the SIM card. I also have a TigerTag on it.

Stuff: I have renter's insurance. It's under $15 a month and I strongly, strongly recommend it. If you own a car, you may get good combo rates on car and renters insurance. Very easy to do, very cheap, and it's definitely paid off for me. I pay a tiny bit more to cover replacement cost rather than current depreciated value. This didn't help a ton with my laptop - only got the price for the older version I had, not the shiny new equivalent, but if anything happens to my books, it will help a lot. Things to do: Email myself pictures of room/valuables. Take close-ups of each shelf, so I can rebuild my book collection. Leave myself a note to photo books a couple times a year.

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What company did you get renters insurance from? I've been meaning to for a while, but I haven't done the research yet.
I'm using Travelers, but I didn't do a ton of comparison shopping. The way I did it was to search for "Renters Insurance MA" or something similar - this gets you pages that offer multiple quotes, and then they call you, because for some reason it's hard to get people to do things by email (though in the end they did). I don't know if it was the people running the quote page or just one of the options, but someone from State Fund Insurance contacted me, and determined of their options, Travelers was the cheapest.

Renters insurance covers you and fiancee/spouse, but not housemates. I took effectively the highest meaningful deductible at $500, since I mostly want to cover major/total loss (though the theft went over that with the laptop). They did a credit check (which came up blank - had no actual credit score at the time), took into account reported safety measures (deadbolt, fire alarms, etc), miscellaneous discounts and gave me a number back.

It was annoying to get started, but really not too hard once I did. I highly recommend it!
Ya, I should really move that NAS at some point. The problem is that I still don't have a good cronned backup system for windows.
Yeah - assuming something bad happened that wasn't hardware failure, it'll probably be more useful elsewhere, but it also seems like a pain to deal with. ::shrug:: No advice here. :)
Thanks for posting this. Something I should get better at myself.

Any idea how does TigerTag makes their money?
Internets is not very forthcoming, but some poking around shows that they've been to some events that hook up startups and angel investors; also something about them partnering with some bigger companies to try to have TigerTags distributed with some big-ticket items at time of sale, but it's not clear to me whether that took off or whether that would actually result in any cash flow for them (or just visibility). I haven't found anything that makes their long-term strategy obvious...
I looked a little when I picked them up - the only thing I saw potentially was the corporate option I mentioned in my reply to katmerlin. I wasn't terribly convinced then, but since the tag thing seemed to work, I grabbed some anyhow. :) The startup angle is interesting - I wonder if it'll actually work for them...
Glad to! I'd sort of meant to post because I've actually lost the phone and the house was broken into and the laptop stolen. I've been paranoid about lost stuff since then, and finally decide to write it all out and make sure I was reasonably covered.

I think when I was looking at TigerTag before, they were emphasizing some sort of corporate angle? Not sure what for - loss prevention or for their employees or what, but presumably they'd charge there. Looks like they might take a tiny cut if they help you hook up with your stuff, but even that looks like it's just barely covering shipping/handling charges.