Press Announcement: Depositit in Mortgage Strategy

Lost your data? Don't lose your cool

One of the less discussed implications of regulation is that mortgage brokers will be required to demonstrate that their documents are being backed up and stored securely.

If you are using a computer, laptop or electronic handheld device for business, a secure and reliable data back-up solution is a must. Failure to comply will mean serious penalties. If you find backing up onto CDs and those trips to store them off premises inconvenient the easiest and safest option is online back-up. There are a range of online services available and this article is intended to help you choose the one that suits you.

Every computer user has experienced some form of data loss at some time. Perhaps an accidental file deletion, a power surge, fire, theft, or maybe you left your laptop, pda or mobile phone on the train. And then of course there's that most deadly of problems, the virus attack. Lose a single file or an entire hard drive and there's a cost, both emotional and financial. But you can be up and running again in hours if you have an up-to-date copy of your data available that is easy to access. Online back-up remembers to back up your data every day so you don't have to and stores the copy securely offsite. It confirms that back-up has been carried out successfully and it restores your data quickly.

Now that many business continuity clauses have been removed from insurance policies this has become one of the most cost effective ways of covering yourself.

If you are not familiar with the concept here's some help in making the right choice.

FAQ�s and online support
� Contact: Are answers to your queries easily available either as FAQ�s on the company's website or via email support? Is it geared up to answer promptly? Are the providers easy to contact? Their details should be in a prominent position on the website and include a local rate telephone number.

� Data encryption: Online storage companies provide varying levels of data encryption: 448-bit encryption should be the minimum you accept.

� Mirrored storage: Ensure the storage company you select has its own secure back-up process in place and enquire what this is. Does it back up at all? Is this on to tape or to a second server and is this server in a separate data centre? The most secure is simultaneous data mirroring to three servers located in separate data centres.

� Password protection: Data retrieval should be easy but only to the registered account holder. Does the service require password access prior to carrying out any important function such as file retrieval or deletion?

Service features � File types: Ask yourself what types of files you want to protect. Select a service that doesn't restrict you to just word documents and spreadsheets and charges extra for storing email, music or digital images.

� Back-up copies: This is different to how many secure data centres store your files (one, two or three). Back-up copies refer to how many backdated copies of data can be stored and retrieved. For example, accountants may wish to hold a full year's accounts for their clients. They would require the ability to store over 365 back copies (for each client).

� Multiple users/networks: Is the service charging per individual computer/account/licence or simply for the amount of storage you use regardless of number of users? Why pay extra for sign-up charges or additional licences?

� Data retrieval: Is the retrieval process quick and simple? Whether you lose a single file or your hard drive, retrieval should be accomplished within three steps: open client application; select data to restore; click 'restore now' button.

� Back-up confirmation: Will you be sent an email after every successful back-up? This is not only reassuring but also acknowledges that your files are available for retrieval.

� Unlimited definitions: Backing up your 'My Documents' folder automatically once a day might be enough but what if you have additional requirements that include backing up emails separately, or perhaps a database that needs to be saved on an hourly basis? Does the service allow you to schedule all your back-ups at a time and frequency that suits you?

� Compression: How much data storage are you receiving for your money? Most online storage firms will compress your data prior to transfer to increase back-up speed and reduce storage on their servers. Is the provider saying it will back-up 500mb of your data but only offering 50mb of storage space? If so this assumes a compression ratio of 10:1 which though not impossible is unlikely. If you have a mix of data to back-up it is reasonable to assume a compression ratio of 2:1, which means you could store up to 500mb of data in a 250mb storage package.

� Incremental back-ups and Delta blocking: Once you have completed your first back-up and uploaded your selected files to the storage company's servers all future back-ups will be of new or changed files. This speeds up transfer times, helps to reduce bandwidth and helps keep storage costs down. Is Delta blocking available? This helps to reduce transfer times even further and is a useful feature if you are frequently updating large files.

� Automatic upgrades: What happens if you are midway through an important back-up when the service you are using reaches the limits of your account? Do you need to contact it to increase your storage level before it will allow you to continue? Ensure that increased storage requirements and upgrades are automatically allowed for. That way the safety of your data will never be compromised.

A quality online back-up service is invaluable so that you can sleep soundly at night reassured that your business data is safe, whatever happens.


For further information, please contact:

Anthony Ryb, Sales Director � Depositit
78 York Street, London, United Kingdom W1H 1DP
T: 0845 458 1360


'I'd thoroughly recommend Depositit to every business'

- A Milson

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