Studies show that only seven per cent of people back up their personal data and only 23 per cent do so on a monthly basis, a worrying statistic when you consider the thousands of megabytes of personal data we store on our smartphones and PCs every year. Something I find even more worrying is the volume of mobile devices which are lost or stolen every year in the UK - one every 12 seconds.
Losing files can be a traumatic event. Whether it's a personal loss of irreplaceable family photos, videos and key personal files, or work files, it's a stress and hassle we could all do without and one which is perfectly preventable. Backing up files is something everyone needs to be in the habit of doing, but in this busy world where we're all multi-tasking it's often an activity that is put off for another day - a day which quite often never arrives!
I was inspired to launch dragnstore, a cloud-based secure storage app, as a result of this kind of loss; my wife's mobile phone was stolen which had literally hundreds of family photos and videos of two family events stored on it. Memories that can't ever be replaced were gone in an instant. In a situation like that, you find yourself wondering why you didn't just find the time to do the sensible thing and back-up regularly. I guess like most scenarios, you think it's something that won't happen to you.
The heart of the problem fundamentally seems to be that people just deem backing-up their files a task too time-consuming, too complicated and perhaps expensive, if they are to invest in storage devices. In addition, as we all use multiple devices to store files, such as smartphones, tablet PCs, laptops and desktops - so our files are often disparate and the task of backing up each device seems arduous. This doesn't have to be the case.
Firstly, develop the habit. Backing up files is something which should be done habitually so choose a time where you know you can spare a few minutes to do this, whether it's daily (recommended) or every couple of days. Perhaps clear the last five minutes of the working day to do this and make it part of the shutting down process. Secondly, consider which type of storage method works for you. In my opinion, cloud storage is the easiest and most reliable. Whilst portable hard drives are a viable option, and certainly better than not backing up at all, there is a risk of them corrupting over time too.
Cloud storage has the benefit of being accessible from anywhere on any online device and so you will never be without your files. In addition, the benefits of some of the more advanced services is that you can back up across multiple devices, so although your files may be scattered across devices you are safe in the knowledge that all of the files are centralised and exist safely in one accessible place. Once the process has been set up, you can easily back up your files regularly using this method.
However, one potential barrier to this is cost, as people perceive cloud-based storage systems to be expensive. Not only is this not the case, with many services starting from as little as £10 per year, but the cost of losing the files is far greater.
The way to look at back-up is as an essential task, not an optional one. Consider the consequences of losing your photos and contact numbers, and how that would affect you. This in itself should provide enough of an incentive!
About the author
Anthony King has been in the security industry since 1988, when he joined Kings Security Systems, his father's business, as an apprentice engineer. Since that time he has worked his way up in the company, from installations to sales, and eventually up into senior management. He is now the company managing director. He founded dragnstore using the company knowledge of the security industry and applying this to the secure storage of data. dragnstore was inspired by the theft of Anthony's wife's phone, where many family photos and videos were stored, and as a result lost.
For more information visit www.dragnstore.com.