Data maintenance and security is of paramount importance to shareholders and investors, particularly if they trade.
At the very least, in order to be a shareholder activist, one must have instant, reliable access to their shares. Portfolios, accounts, holdings, payment systems, research documents and so forth constitute the substance of a shareholder’s lifeblood. Gaps of any kind create profound anxiety, confusion, uncertainty, and even panic.
In today’s internet world we take data security for granted. This is an error. You are responsible for the security and integrity of your data. “The buck stops here.” To think otherwise is naïve and potentially dangerous.
When Data Disaster Strikes
What follows is a genuine, authentic life event which impacted this writer harshly and directly. I had contracted with an internet company to host three of my web platforms. “The Company” started out as a technology firm in late ‘70s.
In 2000, it was acquired for more than $20 billion. This is not ‘chump change.’ We’re talking big bucks here. “The Company” is based in the United States. It provides web hosting, website design, and online marketing, including search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising management services.
The cardinal, most sacred rule of the internet and web platform maintenance is to never, never lose data, at any cost. Any techie worth his bytes will tell you that data loss is not an option; in point of fact it’s a hanging offense (or should be) in several states and countries.
Several months ago “The Company” had a hardware crash/burnout. Apparently they had been having “data base connectivity issues” for many months.
Finally, burnout occurred, and all hell broke loose.
One of this writer’s sites crashed, a good deal of data was lost; the site had last been backed up several months earlier. Needless to say the site required considerable rebuilding and expansion over a period of several weeks: painstaking, tedious work.
A steady stream of contact with Manila and American Corporate produced little results, except pleasant lip service. My contact person within the executive office in the States, actually revealed the following to me (verbatim): “Yes we knew there were data base connectivity issues for months…Did you bring up the notion that you should alert your customer base?…Yes we kicked that idea around for a few months, but we didn’t do it.”
The rest is history.
Thousands of Customers Ravaged By Ineptitude and a Lack of Empathy
A simple email to millions of customers instructing them to do their own back-ups ASAP would have worked wonders, and cost nearly nothing.
However, “The Company” exercised their prerogative of ‘letting nature take her course,’ and the perfect storm ravaged thousands of customers causing massive financial loss and heartache. It just makes no bloody sense; it all comes out in the wash anyhow.
I have jumped ship, and another vendor now has all my business. The fact that “The Company” was ‘penny-wise and pound-foolish’ could be characterized as a petty understatement. In fact, they were cruel and inhumane. But they have assets, power, and inertia; they will survive, but not on my dime.
I now back up my sites daily, and I have put all data on hard disc. One cannot be too careful in today’s internet world! As George Orwell would have most certainly have said: “such, such are the joys.”
More than Data, Protect Your Cyber Soul
Our data, our platforms, our sites are part of our hearts and souls. They are all important pieces of who we are, how we think, and what we present to the world and in turn how the world perceives us.
Being brutalized and assaulted in this realm is shocking. Of course, life really does go on and I have made the site better, but I’ll never be able to fully capture some of the language that I created, and labored for, in its original form.
Refrain: (with Sergio Mendes singing “Never Gonna Let You Go” in the background): “the cardinal, most sacred rule of the internet and web platform maintenance is to never never lose data at any cost.”
Shareholders and investors need to be acutely aware of ‘their data.’ Proper access to information is the shareholder activist’s first order of business.
If you don’t have your data then you have no platform from which to mount a campaign, tender a proposal, or communicate properly with the companies you co-own.
Shareholder’s holdings, assets, their online payment systems, and all other connections to their cyber world are data based and driven. It’s all about backup in multiple ways to multiple ‘outside’ sources and sanctuaries. “One can never be too careful in these matters.”
It is strongly suggested that you create your own backup systems, and consider backing up on hard disc as well. The pain and anguish of rebuilding a data base, and/or retrieving information is severe. “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.” We tend to think that information technology is infallible; it is certainly not. Learning the hard way has etched new safekeeping methods on my cortex.
You have been warned.
To contact Christopher Bayer directly, please email Christopher.Bayer@TheShareholderActivist.com.