Telephone preference service business #telephone #preference #service #business


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The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is a data file of consumers who have registered their wish not to receive unsolicited advertising material by mail. The MPS is a non profit service managed by the Governance Division of the Direct Marketing Association. It’s use is a condition of the Direct Marketing Association’s Code of Practice and the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion administered by the Advertising Standards Authority. All mailers should ensure that their non customer mailing lists are screened against the Mailing Preference File.

Cost to obtain the file – An Annual Licence is 1,200 + VAT. To receive a one-off file ONLY 300 + VAT. For a partial one-off download of up to 50% the full file ONLY 65 + VAT

Additional benefits of being a licensee
You will be able to use the official MPS logo on your Web site and correspondence
Your company services as an official list cleaner and licensee will be publicised on both the MPS corporate and consumer Web site listing.
To apply please fill in the application form

Other Preference services

The Telephone Preference Service allows businesses and consumers to register their telephone numbers in order to not receive unsolicited sales and marketing calls

Baby MPS
is a service which allows parents who have suffered a miscarriage or bereavement of a baby in the first weeks of life to register their wish not to receive baby related mailings

The Fax Preference Service allows consumers and businesses to register their home or business fax number not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing faxes

How to React If Your Credit Card Company Sues You – ABC News #credit, #card, #sued, #company, #score, #debt, #report, #legal, #sue, #lawsuit, #response, #bill, #business #news, #financial #news, #economy #news, #personal #finance, #money #news




Yahoo!-ABC News Network | 2017 ABC News Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.

When Your Credit Card Company Sues You

It is essential to teach children about the responsibilities of owning and using credit cards.

Whether the notice comes in the mail, or is delivered to your doorstep, being told that you are being sued for a credit card debt can be terrifying. For many people, the first reaction is to shut down and ignore the situation. “The tragedy…is not that the consumer was sued but that most never respond,” says Steve Rhode, founder of who is also working on a research project about lawsuits filed over consumer debts.

If a debtor ignores the lawsuit, however, the creditor will get a judgment against the debtor. which in turn will provide the creditor with additional powers to collect the debt, including seizing bank accounts or garnishing wages, in some states. (Note that in this story we are talking about situations where a credit card company itself sues you – not when a debt collector sues you .)

How to react when you are sued by your credit card company depends on a number of things — including, first and foremost, whether you acknowledge that you owe the debt in question.

If you know you owe the debt and the amount is correct, there are a few different ways this can unfold.

If you can scrape together some cash – perhaps with a loan from a friend or family member. for example, then one option is to pay or settle the debt immediately. “A reduction in balance owed or beneficial repayment terms are entirely possible outcomes,” says Rhode.

But you must act quickly.

“Once sued for collection, get immediately involved in the solution,” says debt settlement expert Michael Bovee, founder of the Consumer Recovery Network. In his experience, consumers will typically have to come up with 60% – 100% of the amount owed to stop the lawsuit, though smaller settlements are possible in some situations.

If you are able to resolve the debt at this point, you must get written documentation from the creditor acknowledging your payment and stating that the lawsuit will be dropped. This is especially true in cases where you are settling the debt for less than you owe. Otherwise, the creditor may say your settlement was a “payment” and still sue you for the balance.

“Be certain you are agreeing to a settlement that will also result in the dismissal of the lawsuit,” Bovee insists. “Settling quickly means you can avoid a judgment damaging your credit report.”

If you know the amount is correct, but you can’t afford to pay or settle it, it’s a good idea to talk with a bankruptcy attorney to find out whether filing for bankruptcy is your best option for dealing with the debt that you can’t afford. If it turns out that bankruptcy isn’t a good option, the attorney can explain to you what may happen once there is a judgment against you.

There Must Be Some Mistake

What if you don’t believe you owe the amount they are trying to collect? Maybe you disputed a purchase but the creditor refused to correct it. Perhaps you believe you were a victim of fraud. Or maybe your balance has just ballooned with bogus charges. Robert Brennan, a Southern California consumer law attorney, explains:

Look at the amount that is being collected and the amount that is being reported (on credit reports) as delinquent. When accounts go into collections, the collections departments frequently tack on fees, penalties and interest which do not belong there. If you see your $2,500 balance suddenly balloon to $5,000, or higher (not uncommon), write a certified letter to the credit card company asking for a detailed accounting of the penalties, fees and interest, along with a copy of the contract that permits the card company to charge these items for a defaulted account. Sometimes the card company will give you the info; most times they will not. If the card company cannot verify the proper amount of the debt, then it can only credit-report the amounts which it can verify, which is usually the principal-plus-interest at time of default. It may not be a big case, but consumers who fall victim to this type of false credit reporting can probably use the Fair Credit Reporting Act to pressure the card companies to at least lower the demand to the principal-plus-interest at time of default.

If you think something is amiss – you are being harassed or the amount you owe has been inflated, for example — you may want to talk with a consumer law attorney with experience in credit and collection issues.

William Howard, a Florida consumer protection attorney with Morgan & Morgan points out that in a few states, including Florida and California in particular, there is a “collection harassment law that allows you to sue “Any Person” (including the original creditor or credit card issuer) directly for harassment such as: collecting one penny not owed, collecting fees they are NOT entitled to such as attorney fees or higher interest, too many calls, calling at work, etc.”

Consumer law attorneys usually offer a free or low-cost consultation, and may take the case at no cost to the consumer since the creditor or collection agency will be required to pay their fees if it turns out they are breaking the law.

While a lawsuit for a debt isn’t something anyone wants to have to deal with, try to keep it in perspective, and focus on resolving it one way or another.

“My advice is to not look at the suit as a negative,” says Rhode. “But as a positive opportunity to negotiate with the lender to work out a solution that might be affordable and beneficial to both parties.”

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Home, Auto & Business Insurance – Garry Insurancenter #insurance, #auto #insurance, #home #insurance, #car #insurance, #homeowners #insurance, #business #insurance, #commercial #insurance, #garry #insurancenter


Home, Auto Business Insurance in North St. Paul, MN

Garry Insurancenter

We re a locally owned and operated agency in North Saint Paul, Minnesota and we deliver insurance and risk management solutions. We ve served individuals and businesses for more than 35 years and we believe in being a well-rounded agency. We stay current on trends and developments that relate to our clients and that relate to the policies that we write, and we advocate for our clients. These efforts help us give clients the best possible products and services for the right prices. They also make finding, maintaining, and using insurance as convenient as can be for clients.

Our Insurance Offerings

We have a wide variety of insurance options, and in fact there is almost nothing that we can t give you. Home . auto . life . and health policies are among our options, and these and all of our other options can be custom-tailored to fit your needs. Southeast Minnesota is a high-flood-risk area, so flood insurance is common among residents of the area. We provide this insurance with attention to detail and with full consideration for clients needs. We ll do this for you.

Minnesotans like to get outdoors and be adventurous, and we honor this. We do so by providing policies through our recreational vehicle program. Whether you ride a boat. motorcycle. ATV. or other non-car vehicle, we can insure you fully. This will help you adventure freely.

Our business program keeps virtually any commercial enterprise with fewer than 250 employees secure for the right price, and our programs for specific industries do the same. The coverages contained in these programs are unique to different lines of work, and for this reason the specific-industry programs are important to a lot of businesses. No matter where you are in The North Star State, if you run a business then we can protect you.

Our Approach

In order to give you the greatest protection in the most cost-efficient ways, we ll build a meaningful relationship with you. We ll nurture this relationship, and this will make having, keeping track of, and using insurance easy for you.

We ll consult with you on an in-depth basis in order to identify the right coverages and to create the best policies. Once these policies are in place we ll monitor them regularly and we ll keep you informed. We actively manage risk, and this helps reduce your chances of sustaining losses and of having to use your insurance. If insurance is used and you file claims, we ll manage the claims.

We re reachable at almost any time, so if you need to get a hold of us, you can.

Please contact us or give us a call to learn more. You can get started by requesting a quote .

additional insurance information:

Evening appointments are also available.

Accommodating, professional, helpful, and quick. Very comfortable experience and I was impressed by their capabilities. Highly recommended.

I feel lucky to have found an agent willing to provide this level of service. No need to look anywhere else!

Over the years we’ve never once had to worry about our coverage. My husband and I are long-time customers and proud to be.

Surprisingly flexible and in-touch with my needs as a small business owner. Can’t ask for more.

They have strong ties with the community, and it shows. It’s nice to do business with people that really show they care about you and your family.

Home Security Systems in Arkansas: Southern Security of Arkansas #home, #business, #security, #arkansas, #little #rock, #security #system, #home #security, #business #security, #security #camera, #interactive #security, #video #monitoring, #energy #management, #home #automation, #security #alarm,, #residential #security, #commercial #security, #security #special, #southern #security #of #arkansas #


2013 Southern Security of Arkansas – Residential and Commercial Security Systems Lic. E2013-0044

1611 Nelson Road Little Rock, Arkansas 72206

Southern Security of Arkansas is an industry-leading home and business security technology company dedicated to ensuring the safety, convenience and control of your home and business security systems using wireless, web and mobile technology. Southern Security of Arkansas provides innovative and affordable solutions that deliver greater safety, awareness, control, convenience and efficiency inside the home and business from wherever you are. We install leading technology that provide services like Interactive Security, Video Monitoring, Energy Management and Home Automation through a connected platform and accessed through easy to use mobile apps. for any cell phone operating system.

Call Now for a FREE In-Home Estimate

How To Start A highly Profitable Bulk Sms Business In Nigeria #number #for #business, #bulk #sms


ATTENTION: In Less than 5Minutes, You Will Discover.
“What Everybody Needs To Know About The Insanely Easy And Profitable Bulk SMS Business. “

Discover How You Too Can Easily Generate A Six Figure Income Online Every Month Like I Do From The Bulk Sms Business

If I were you, I would make sure I read this life changing article from beginning to the end because it’s just damn important! Right on this page, I would reveal to you with proofs how I make a six figure income from the internet every month from the bulk sms business opportunity.

Have you ever thought of how beautiful life would be, if you could have a working internet business that pumps out cash on demand just like ATM for you?Have you ever imagined living your life independently without having to work for any one or depend on anyone for your daily needs?

I welcome you formally to my web page where I am going to be offering you an exceptional offer with a well comprehensive information you will find no where else but here, which is guaranteed of making you an extra income from home with a little startup capital.

From The Desk Of Aderonke Bamidele. Award winning and Nigeria’s no.1 Information Entrepreneur Queen, Certified Entrepreneur, A coach, Internet business consultant and a resource person .

I’ve been making steady income on the internet for the past four years and each time I become successful with any money making scheme on the internet, I write detailed step guide on how others can do it as well and make good money from it too.

As a result of this simple act, I have been able to touch many lives positively and to proof this to you, take a look at the image below.

That Is Me Receiving An Honorary Award For My Excellent Contribution In Information Entrepreneurship.

My company name is Banton Services Nig Limited, Registered under the rules and laws of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria And With The Corporate Affairs Commission, Reg No, RC757644 .

My personal website is You can visit my personal website when you leave this page to know more about me and you can also type my name on google to verify if I’m legitimate or not.

The business opportunity I am about to discuss with you on this great website is one of the most profitable online businesses that I do on the internet from the comfort of my home. I advise you leave whatever it is you are doing right now and pay close attention to this amazing report.

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That s the type of Freedom I enjoy and that s the freedom I want you to have. So I decided to reveal this system to you. A system that can get you closer to that FREEDOM ..In just 7days.



If you want to build an online business that sells. Here is the sure fire niche no one is telling you about. You too can start your own bulk sms business and make lots of money from it daily like I do.


You Will Get The Following In The Bulk Sms Cash System Package


I know the offer is just too good to be true but I even want to sweeten the pot and give you another amazing offer that would completely blow your mind off.

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After this date, You will have to pay 25k for the GSM Database if you still want to buy it. The special offer of 15,000with free GSM Database is only for a limited time of ONE-WEEK.

If You Are Interested In The Special Offer For The Bulk Sms Cash System Package. Please, enter your name and email in the box section below to secure your copy and make sure you confirm your email as soon as you leave this website. I need to be sure that this action was taken by you.

You Will Receive A Confirmation Message From Me, Sender Name Is ADERONKE BAMIDELE

Pay The Sum Of 15,000 Only Into Any Of The Bank Account Details Below NATIONWIDE. You Can Make The Payment Through Internet Banking, Mobile Banking Or Cash Deposit.


(N.B-If you are paying into GTBank, I strongly advice you pay into my Personal GTBANK account for instant confirmation of your Payment)

Senior Homeowners Warned of Risks of Reverse Mortgages – ABC News #reverse #mortgage, #foreclosure, #homeowners, #banks, #business #news, #financial #news, #economy #news, #personal #finance, #money #news




Yahoo!-ABC News Network | 2017 ABC News Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.

Risks of Reverse Mortgages

Linda and Jim McMahan said they could not believe their luck in 1993 when they found their dream house.

“We loved it,” she said. “It wasn’t a huge house, but it was a nice size. It had the big trees in the yard. And we have deer in the yard every day, and wild turkeys. What more could you want?”

As is true for so many Americans, the McMahans’ home in St. Croix, Wis. was the couple’s dream and nest egg. That is, until their home was drained of its 19-year equity by a reverse mortgage and sold out from under Linda to pay it back as soon as her husband died.

“They must read the death notices, because I’d say within two days, I get a letter: ‘Sorry to hear about your husband passing away,'” she said. “And they said, ‘Well, you either have to buy the house or move out.'”

Only people 62 and older qualify for reverse mortgages. They work by giving homeowners the option of an immediate cash payment in exchange for the future value of their house upon death or sale.

When the McMahans applied for the reverse mortgage in 2005, Linda was under 62, so her name was not included on the reverse mortgage. When her husband died, Linda had no claim to her home of nearly two decades. She lost it.

The McMahans did receive the required counseling before receiving the mortgage and were aware she would no longer be listed, but were unclear about the process needed to add her name — which would have required another refinancing when she turned 62 as outlined in their mortgage documents.

It’s only one of the dangers inherent in the reverse mortgage that government officials are warning consumers about today.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, right now in America, 57,000 seniors like McMahan are in danger of losing their homes — a 9.8 percent foreclosure rate, four times higher than for traditional mortgages.

Reverse mortgages peaked in 2009, rising to an all-time high of 114,639; so far in 2012, 54,676 have been issued.

California currently has the most reverse mortgages with nearly 7,000 issued just this last year; Texas and Florida follow with 4,800 and 3,300 respectively.

Critics say the TV commercials, with celebrities like Fred Thompson and Henry Winkler, prey on vulnerable seniors by claiming homeowners can “turn their equity into tax-free cash.”

Today, the government is warning: Reverse mortgages are not free money.

Prescott Cole, senior staff attorney for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, says seniors are a target because many have money saved, are often isolated and at times have “cognitive impairments” reducing their ability to make rational decisions.

“They’re not being told about the downsides,” Cole said. “When we hear about reverse mortgages, we’re hearing the good things. that these are loans that don’t have to be paid back either until the senior dies or permanently moves out of the home. they’re told, nothing to worry about.”

Peter Bell, the CEO and president of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, says the commercials are not misleading.

“How much can you get in a 30-second commercial?” Bell said. “These are not ads to get a reverse mortgage, but ads to get more information and learn about reverse mortgages.”

Seventy percent of the time, seniors exchange the equity in their homes for the reverse mortgage payout as a lump sum and the money is too often spent by the time it’s needed for late-in-life hardships.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is expected Thursday to recommend that Congress limit large lump sum payments, and recommend seniors be very careful with reverse mortgages.

Hubert H. Humphrey III, the assistant director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Older Americans, says that a reverse mortgage should be the last option.

“This is your nest egg. This is what you use when you don’t have any other resources,” he said. “People are not taking this out as a last available resource, they’re all too often taking it out at age 62 right when they just qualify, and so they live another 15, 20, 25 years, and when they really need the money there’s nothing there.”

Humphrey said that couples who live together should always borrow together to protect both parties’ interest in the property, so that the McMahans’ experience will not happen.

By law, the Department of Housing and Urban Development requires counseling before someone receives a reverse mortgage, and recommends that extended family also take part to ensure the risks are clear, a stance NRMLA supports.

The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association also says that the industry itself has worked to improve counseling for potential borrowers.

“All in all there is a concentrated effort by all parties involved to improve counseling and we have seen a steady trajectory of its improving,” Bell said.

According to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, reverse mortgages have helped more than 750,000 senior households and if the Department of Housing and Urban Development does recommend a limit on borrowing, the association will support it fully.

For Linda McMahan, the risks of her reverse mortgage — an option she wishes she had never been presented — now means living in a small apartment a block from her dream house.

“It’s a wonderful house,” she said. “I hope somebody will enjoy it.”

AARP shared these links as resources:

SAP master data management (MDM) tutorial #mdm #business #solutions


SAP SAP master data management (MDM) tutorial:

SAP master data management (MDM) tutorial

Master data management refers to synchronizing “master data” — a company’s most important data about its customers, products or other assets — for the enterprise. MDM systems manage master data from a central system, whose architecture can be a registry model, a repository or persistent model, or a hybrid approach. In this SAP MDM tutorial, explore master data management concepts, learn about SAP’s MDM solution, and check out MDM best practices and SAP MDM case studies.

New in this guide

SAP’s MDM product includes content consolidation for organizing data, master data harmonization for cleansing data, and central master data management for a single enterprise repository for master information. In this section, learn more about SAP MDM projects and explore SAP case studies to see how some companies have used SAP MDM to solve critical data management issues.

Master data management can help an enterprise reduce costs, and can result in clean and efficient data that better support business processes and key requirements, such as meeting compliance standards. But getting master data management software up and running can be a daunting task not to mention managing data governance and associated change management issues. In this section, you’ll find tips for a successful SAP MDM implementation, learn of MDM best practices for SAP MDM tools and read other data management advice and resources.

How do you define master data management? For starters, master data is data that is not connected to a particular transaction, but is used in many instances within an enterprise, such as customer information, product descriptions and vendor lists. If you’re thinking about implementing an MDM initiative, and are looking for more MDM information, you might ask: What is SAP MDM? In this SAP MDM overview, learn master data management concepts, and find out how experts look at MDM, specifically in SAP environments.

Efforts by SAP, Oracle, Infor and Epicor vary widely in their comprehensiveness and depth, as do their philosophies about whether to develop a separate digital manufacturing platform.

Faced with products and services that were growing in number and complexity, Hitachi Data Systems implemented CPQ software from FPX and improved its pricing and proposal process.

Production planning, production scheduling and other supply chain tasks are challenging. Advanced planning and scheduling can provide nuanced calculations to help.

Dealing with Oracle on software contracts can seem like a scary task, but it doesn’t have to be if you take control of the licensing process.

Database administrators are usually concerned with backing up their databases. But they should spend more time focusing on database recovery as part of the backup process.

It can be confusing to select an Oracle MySQL database. Which one makes sense for you?

The quest for the agile database is putting developers in the forefront and has some DBA tasks moving to the development groups, according to panelists at a conference in Boston.

With the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation looming on the horizon, companies — including many in the U.S. — need to get going on required data governance upgrades.

Big data vendors routinely push the notion of ingesting all of your data into a data lake. But in many cases, doing so is an unnecessary step that could cause data ingestion problems.

AWS Greengrass represents a shift for the public cloud heavyweight, allowing customers to bring AWS compute resources in-house to overcome public cloud limitations.

Amazon’s infamous S3 outage grabbed IT pros’ attention in the first half of 2017, while stories about Kubernetes containers and open source partnerships kept them clicking.

When it comes to AWS storage management for high-performance applications, EBS Elastic Volumes and Elastic File System each have separate advantages.

Biased data samples or model development practices can derail any company interested in using AI and diminish the technology’s return on investment.

AI software is garnering a lot of hype, but many companies are going to have to rethink how they interact with analytics tools in order to capitalize on the true potential of AI.

A new breed of data analytics tool for data scientists aims to deliver far more than BI software, including predictive analytics and exploratory analytics.

There are many CRM products to choose from, each offering a broad range of functionality. Here, we’ve simplified the buying process by comparing the leading CRM products.

In this video Q ?>

Voip business telephone service #voip #business #telephone #service


Home > Services > VoIP Phone Services * Advertisement

* Best VoIP Providers

We’ve tested the top VoIP service providers and compared their prices, features, ease of use, call quality and more so that you can determine which of the industry leaders offers the right VoIP plan for you. Read our in-depth VoIP reviews and comparisons so you can make an educated purchase.

Top Residential VoIP Providers

Short for Internet Telephone Provider, ITP offers VoIP plans both for home and business use. Residential VoIP customers can choose between one or two-line plans, while business owners can choose plans for any number of lines. The company s affordable pricing and satisfactory call quality makes. Read Review

ViaTalk prides itself on being a different kind of company . There s no question that the robust features and high minute allotment offered in the company s residential and business VoIP plans make ViaTalk a solid option for anyone who speaks on the phone frequently. Unfortunately, ViaTalk s. Read Review

Not sure how many minutes you ll need for your VoIP plan? Phone Power takes the guesswork out of the equation by offering a single inexpensive plan that includes unlimited minutes (5,000 minutes) and a free cloned line, making the package ideal for both residential and. Read Review

In only 3 short years since its formation, has built a solid reputation for reliable VoIP service with professional-grade features. The company s premier packages are its Home Phone Plus plans for residential VoIP users and Virtual Office plans which provide VoIP for business use. Read Review

As a subsidiary of Nextiva, a top business VoIP provider, inTALK prides itself on providing professional-grade service in its residential VoIP plans. Additionally, inTALK is a proud member of the Carbon Free Organization, which enables the company to provide eco-friendly VoIP solutions. With unlimited minutes. Read Review

Online International Business Undergraduate Degree Program Summary #online #international #business #degree, #online #international #business #undergraduate #degree #program


Online International Business Undergraduate Degree Program Summary

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Business Economics
  • Business Finance
  • Business Management and Operations
  • Business Marketing
  • Business Support and Administrative Services
  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
  • Hospitality Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information System Management
  • International Business
  • Sales and Merchandising
  • Specialized Sales

Essential Information

International business majors receive a foundation in topics like business math, ethics and finance before moving on to study the vast landscape of business beyond the United States. Bachelor’s-level courses in international business provide a mixture of studies in international laws, cultures and history.

An advantage of online undergraduate international business programs over their campus-based counterparts is the ease with which schools can facilitate collaboration with experts in the field, regardless of location. Students can receive mentoring or submit work to members of the international business community who are actively involved in a field of the student’s interest. This is particularly beneficial in the field of international business, where leading experts are located in disparate locations across the globe.

Online bachelor’s degree programs in international business may require that applicants possess a certain number of undergraduate credits before being admitted to the major program. Other schools may require students to complete a certain number of credits on campus. Before starting the program, students need to ensure that their computer has a functioning webcam and that they can access Adobe Connect.

Common Coursework

Examples of common online courses in international business include the following:

  • Introduction to Business
  • Global History
  • Introduction to World Politics
  • International Human Resource Management
  • Import-Export Regulations and Practice
  • International Economic Institutions
  • International Small Business Venturing
  • International Business Law
  • Fundamentals of International Business Marketing

Learning Environment

Classes may be offered in asynchronous, self-paced formats or as synchronized sessions in which all students in the class are required to participate online at specific days and times. Online courses typically use a virtual instructional platform, such as Blackboard, through which students can access course assignments and post communications.

Students may also use specialized hardware and software for virtual class participation. For example, a web camera as well as a program such as Adobe Connect may be needed for participation in webinars and virtual conferences. Some schools may also allow students to use an online proctoring service for test taking. With this tool, a student’s identity is validated online; he or she is then able to complete a live-monitored test in front of the computer’s Web camera.

Career Information

Graduates with an online undergraduate degree in international business have a wide range of career options. Many pursue management trainee positions with multi-national corporations. Others work in government, industry or other fields where expertise of the international market is essential.

Continuing Education

Some use the degree as a platform from which they begin graduate study towards a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Online international business bachelor’s degree programs provide interdisciplinary training in commerce and cultural studies through virtual educational platforms that facilitate lecture-based instruction, class discussion and student evaluation.

Next: View Schools

7 Backup Strategies for Your Data, Multimedia, and System Files #data #backup #for #business


7 Backup Strategies for Your Data, Multimedia, and System Files

Your hard drive might crash. Thieves might steal your laptop at a café. You might realize on Friday that you desperately need the now-departed Wednesday version of an important document that you significantly altered on Thursday.

At times like these, having a secure, up-to-date backup of your hard drive can be a lifesaver. Here are seven practical strategies, including using USB storage, backing up via the Internet or through your local network, backing up Windows itself, and preserving huge media files like songs and videos.

What to Back Up

Your hard drive may contain hundreds of thousands of files. Many of them should be backed up every day, others only oc­­casionally, and still others–including temp files, the hibernation file (hiberfil.sys), and your browser cache–not at all. Let’s look at the different kinds of files individually.

Your documents: You should back up your word processing files, spreadsheets, and similar documents every day. Any basic backup program can perform incremental backups, in which the program copies only the files that have changed since the most recent previous backup. (Good backup programs also perform versioning; that is, they keep several iterations of the same file on hand and enable you to choose which version to restore.)

Your recent documents: If your backup program can handle incremental backups, you don’t have to worry about recent documents as separate entities. But if you often work on these files on other people’s computers, you may want to carry a copy of them on a flash drive or store a copy of them online.

Application data: Apps create and maintain data files such as e-mail messages, browser favorites, calendar entries, and contacts that require daily backing up. Most programs store them in a hidden folder inside your user folder (in XP, C:\Documents and Settings\your name\Application Data; in Vista, C:\Users\your name\AppData). Also, in XP, Microsoft stores Outlook and Outlook Express data in C:\Documents and Settings\your name\Local Settings\Application Data). Fortunately, any well-designed backup program intended for everyday, nonexpert users (as opposed to IT departments) knows where to look for Outlook data.

Media: If your backup medium is sufficiently roomy and fast, you can back up your photo, music, and video files every day. But these large files may require a separate backup strategy.

Heirlooms: Files that you want to keep forever–family photos, the special anniversary card you made for your parents, and so on–need backing up and extra protection.

Your system: You can always reinstall Windows and your apps, if you have the original discs or can download the programs. But if Windows becomes unusable or your hard drive crashes, switching to a system backup (also called a disaster recovery backup) that you create a couple of times a year can get your machine up and running smoothly without much effort.

You can separate and store various types of data on different hard drives (or partitions–see “Move Your Data to a Safer, Separate Partition, Part 1: XP ” and “Move Your Data to a Safer, Separate Partition, Part 2: Vista “). But Windows doesn’t make the procedure easy, and the strategies I discuss don’t require this separation.