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1 in 3 People Suffer Data Loss: Acronis Survey

Survey reveals people value data more than hardware with 20% willing to pay $500 or more to recover lost files

On the eve of the World Backup Day on March 31, a new global study sponsored by Acronis has revealed a growing understanding about the value of, and attitudes towards the protection of personal data on computers, mobile phones and tablet devices. New survey highlights the value of data in today’s world with growing number of PCs and laptops in households. More than half of U.S. survey respondents have more than four devices in a household to protect and 41 percent of survey respondents fear losing photos and videos the most. Security and privacy were cited as key requirements for backing up data.

According to the survey, emerging concerns for personal data protection, the traditional fears of hardware failure and accidental deletion are no longer the sole reasons people fear data loss. Cyber-threats like ransomware, a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system and its data until a sum of money is paid; are growing threats to individuals and businesses. According to Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the nonprofit National White Collar Crime Center, between April 2014 and June 2015, the IC3 received 992 CryptoWall-related ransomware complaints, with victims reporting losses totaling over $18 million. Backup is one effective recovery option for CryptoWall-related attacks.

According to the press release, the data protection survey, conducted by Acronis with Google Consumer Surveys, focused on understanding data protection behavior and included respondents from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Japan, and Australia. The global survey with sample of more than 4,000 individuals includes some key findings. The most important data protection features were security, cited by 30% of respondents, ease-of-use at 36%, and privacy at 26%. 46% of the respondents had more than four devices in their homes. Survey also revealed the current back up trends, as 38% back up to external drives and 30% back up to the cloud.
A highlight of the survey findings is the emerging category of “family data protectors”. With the median household having at least four devices, the emerging trend of users called “family data protectors” is also gaining traction. The sheer growth of data captured in mobile pictures and videos, music files, and scanned family documents means the family data protector ensures the immediate and extended family is prepared for, and protected against, data loss.

John Zanni, CMO of Acronis commented, “Data loss via hardware failure, file deletion, and ransomware are factors most people don’t think about on a daily basis, but when they do occur the results are devastating. Our survey results illustrate a growing general recognition of the value of data stored on family computers and devices, especially given the price people are willing to pay for their data. We hope that this new information, presented on World Backup Day, will encourage even more people to backup their data and protect their personal information.”
Apart from the survey, Acronis also put forth some useful tips for anyone, but especially for family data protectors. According to Acronis, keeping digital memories and fiduciary documents safe, secure and private, is a responsibility that can be easy and inexpensive to exercise.

Three simple tips for keeping data safe:

  1. Always have a backup of a family’s critical data, documents, pictures and videos.
  2. Keep your operating systems on the most up-to-date version. Those security patches and software updates are important.
  3. Be mindful of suspicious emails or clicking on links sent by unknown sources, it could be a phishing scheme or Ransomware.

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