A third of UK consumers lose personal data 1,500 photos or videos are stored on PCs

24 June 2010

Frustrated woman at computer

Without a backup you risk losing many years worth of files

A third of UK and Irish consumers have lost high value personal data as a result of a computer failure, according to the results of a new survey by Mozy.

The online storage services company estimates that on average, four years’ worth of digital photos, music, video and work files and important personal memories are lost as a result of consumers not regularly backing up their data.

The poll of 1,869 adults across the UK and Ireland also revealed that the average consumer has over 1,500 photos or videos stored on their personal computers or laptops.

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One in five (21%) of those surveyed admitted to not undertaking regular backups, while over a quarter who said they undertook regular backups said they backed their data onto CDs, USB keys or external hard drives.

In addition, two thirds of those who stored digital music on their computers and laptops said they would never consider a back up, even though 15% of that figure admitted to losing their digital music collection in the past.

How much is all this data worth?

Respondents to the survey valued the total data stored on their home computers at an average of £12,484 – 2,500 times the monthly cost of protecting it online, Mozy said.

‘People think that backing up to CDs, USB keys and external hard drives is enough to keep their data safe, but while this is great way to get your data back quickly, it’s still at a massive risk of loss,’ said Claire Galbois-Alcaix, of Mozy.

‘Backing up to this sort of device can work perfectly if your computer fails but, if your laptop has been stolen or soaked by a burst water pipe, local backup typically falls foul to the same fate as the computer: in a house fire, a CD is just as likely to melt as a PC.’

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