What Are Your Digital Assets Worth?
Digital assets include: entertainment files (e.g. music downloads), personal memories (e.g. photographs), personal communications (e.g. emails), personal records (e.g. health, financial, insurance), and career information (e.g. resumes, portfolios, cover letters, contacts), as well as any creative projects or hobbies involving digital files.
If your PC crashes or is hacked and your data is not properly backed up, how devastated will you be? Whether for personal use or for business, chances are you have a collection of documents, music, and photos that, if compromised, would almost feel as if your house and all your belongings had been burned up in a fire.
A recent survey found that 60% of respondents own at least three digital devices per household, while 25% own at least five. (Digital devices are mainly desktop or laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones.) As many as 41% of those surveyed spend more than 20 hours per week using a digital device for personal use. Admittedly, I’m online for at least 16 hours a day.
Photographs and similar memorabilia are the main digital asset that most people (73%) consider irreplaceable, should they be lost without having been backed up. Respondents valued personal memories at an average of $18,919, compared to $6,956 for personal records, $3,798 for career information, $2,848 for hobbies and projects, $2,825 for personal communications, and $2,092 for entertainment files.
Consumers estimate the total value of all their digital assets on multiple devices at an average of $37,438, yet more than a third lack protection for those devices.
According to Consumer Reports, malware destroyed 1.3 personal computers and cost consumers $2.3 billion in the last year. Not only have hackers continued to target PCs, with the increased popularity of tablets, smartphones, and Macs, threats are becoming both more common and more complex for non-PC devices. For example, according to McAfee Labs, malware targeted at Android devices has jumped 76% in the last three months.
Many people protect their PCs and digital assets from malware by installing antivirus software. When it comes to smartphones, tablets, and Macs, however, they leave the doors open to criminals. Bad guys are now targeting these devices, as they have become the path of least resistance. Now more than ever, a multi-device security strategy is necessary.
McAfee understood this and solved the complexity and cost pain points by developing a product called McAfee All Access (www.mcafee.com/allaccess) This is the first full security offering for Internet connected devices — from smartphones and tablets to PCs and netbooks. Basically you can get a single license for a great price to secure all of the devices you own!
Robert Siciliano is a McAfee Consultant and Identity Theft Expert. See him discussing identity theft on YouTube. (Disclosures)