Editorial

What me Worry?-- Alfred E. Neuman

How important is your data to you? You can respond to this question with words, but the steps you take to protect your data is the real answer.

I find it troubling when people lose large quantities of data because they have no backups and then get very upset talking about how important that data was, If it's important, why wasn't it backed up? If it matters enough to get upset over losing, it's worth protecting, and backups are an essential part of data protection.

There are many reasons why people neglect doing backups:

Security



A Mental Exercise - The Importance of Backups

Unfortunately, there are some things that people only take seriously after they have experienced personally the pain that results from not taking them seriously. Backups definitely fall into this category. Most people are relatively nonchalant about data backups until disaster strikes thereafter, they are much more diligent, but only after the damage is done.

Here's a mental exercise that you can do to help you understand how important backups are. Take a look at your PC and think about what's on it. Think about your data and your programs. Consider how much time it took to create the data, and to set up your PC so that it works the way you like. Now imagine that one morning you go to your desk and your PC has crashed or even worse, has been stolen... What now?

Let's suppose you had insurance on the hardware, and two weeks later a new PC arrives on your door step with a fresh, clean hard drive. Where do you start to recreate your data ?

Most people who ask themselves this question seriously, begin to take the procedure of backing up more seriously. Fortunately, this is only an exercise, but it does happen.

Recovering from a disaster such as a total disk crash or theft of a PC or laptop can be a very traumatic event, more than most people realise. This is true even if backups exist; when they don't exist the situation is much worse.

Recovering from a disaster is stressful and costly, and the cost is primarily in the time required to recreate the lost data... if you can. For even a small business, this can run into the thousands of dollars very quickly.

If you still aren't convinced, consider a report from the University of Texas Center for Research on Information Systems.

Of the companies that lose their data in a disaster:

and while some of this may be due to reasons other than the data loss, in many cases the data loss is what does the company in.


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