File Loss and Data Corruption
Benefits of Online Backup
Many things can cause data corruption and accidental computer file loss, from viruses to hard drive crashes. Computer Industry Almanac estimates that 700 million PCs are in use around the world, and up to 10 percent of them crash every day.
File backup is an essential part of online security — yet a 2008 study by Webroot, Protecting Your Digital Life, found that 20 percent of PC users never back up their data, leading to extensive computer file loss.
What would you lose if your computer crashed?
- Photos and Music
Ninety percent of people keep photos on their computers, and almost 70 percent store music. Restoring lost music can be timely and expensive, but you’d be sorrier you didn’t print that photo of your baby's first steps.
- Addresses and Phone Numbers
More than three-quarters of people store contact information on their computers. E-mail address books are commonly used to store phone numbers and postal addresses as well. That means if you lost your email address book and a former coworker's phone number were stored there, you couldn't even call to tell him what happened, making the benefits of online backup critical.
- Business Documents and Resumes
The lines between work and home are more and more blurred, with 71 percent of people storing work projects on their personal computers. Resumes, job histories and work references take a great deal of time to compile, but through accidental file loss or data corruption, they can be erased in a second.
The risks of computer file loss
While a computer crash is the most common way to lose files, there are many other risks. You could also lose data due to viruses, theft, natural disaster, accidental deletion or software corruption.
What are the benefits of online backup? The facts speak for themselves:
- Forty-three percent of PC users have lost files stored on their computers.
- More than 46 million people lost files in 2007.
- Only 6 percent of computer users back up their files daily.
Recovering lost files
While data recovery services exist, they are expensive and sometimes impossible. The best way to prevent losing valuable information is to back up the files stored on your hard drive. Then if disaster strikes, you can easily access a secure copy of the information you need.
How to back up files
Files can be backed up to an online account or to a local device such as a CD, DVD or external hard drive. Software programs can greatly simplify the process. Be sure to look for automatic backup capabilities so your files will be protected regularly and you never have to worry about forgetting to back up.
About online backup
The benefits of online backup are many. Not only does it protect files from loss, but it can also make them more useful. You can access online files from any computer and securely share them with friends and family. Sending file sharing links is a great alternative to large email attachments.
Products like Webroot Internet Security Essentials include automatic file backup to an online account or local device. Webroot uses multiple layers of security to protect your files and privacy during online backups. Data is encrypted twice and transmitted to Webroot’s high-security data centers.
To learn more about the benefits of online file backup, read our Protecting Your Digital Life report.