Mozy sent me the results recently of a man-on-the-street survey where they asked people if they would be willing to sell their laptop on the spot for under $1,000. Not surprisingly 98% of people said yes. Yeah, me too. I love my laptop but I could get a laptop and a couple of pairs of sweet shoes for that price. What is surprising about the survey â€“ to me anyway â€“ is that only after the Mozy interviewer asked these same people if their data was backed up did it occur to many of them to think about what they would lose if they lost that same laptop they were just about to sell for folding money.
Um. That’s just strange. If someone offered to buy your closet would you forget you had clothes in it?
I don’t carry a laptop with data on it that I don’t have backed up somewhere â€“ or in several somewheres. I use Mozy, Box.net, Norton Backup, Syncplycity.com, a key drive, and several external drives. I also keep my contacts at Gmail (it imports rather nicely) and Plaxo.com, and my calendar at Google Calendar. Redundancy is a good thing.
In fact one of the beautiful things about digital data is that you can keep as many copies of it as you need to feel comforted. Can you say that about the clothes in your closet?
I hope you aren’t one of the 46 percent in this survey who back up their data only randomly or not at all. You aren’t, are you?
If you are, ask yourself this: Would you miss that half-finished novel, the photos of your kids, or your financial data if you set your laptop down in the airport cafÃ© and it went missing? That happens all the time. According to Absolute Software (makers of LoJack for Laptops) 12,000 laptops are lost in U.S. airports each week. Two-thirds are never returned.
Backing up is not that hard. It’s like brushing your teeth: Easy to do. Bad if you don’t. Next time you are in Target, pick up a USB external drive and copy everything on your computer to it. Sign up for an online backup service. Use an online file syncing and backup service. It doesn’t matter how you do it but, as the Nike people like to say, “Just do it.”