A poll of Ask Leo! readers shows some good, and some scary, results when it comes to backing up.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.info.
So with a lead-in like that, you know what I’m about to do: harp on
But I think I have good reason.
You may have noticed that when you submit a question to Ask Leo!, I actually
ask you to optionally answer a few anonymous questions. For the last month one
of those questions was “How often do you back up?” and earlier today I
collected the responses.
The good news is that of those who responded, 60% are backing up at least
monthly, and many are backing up more frequently than that.
The scary news is that 40% are not. They’re either backing up when they
remember to think of it or like a full 15% of the respondents, not at
No backups. At all.
Now, the timing’s coincidental, but just last week I answered a question
where someone was having an issue with their machine, and they were concerned
that they were about to lose everything on their hard drive, including
important family pictures. Unfortunately that’s an all too common concern. I
regularly get questions from folks who are absolutely frantic because their
computer has a serious problem, and as a result they risked losing the only
copy of something critically important to them.
The only copy.
Folks, if you can afford a computer, you can afford a backup solution. And
if you can afford to be using it for things you think are important to you,
then you can’t afford not to be backing up regularly, automatically,
and without thought.
Yes, it’s that important.
Well, ok, it’s really only as important as your data is important to you. If
you don’t mind losing everything, all your data, all your pictures, all your
email, all your documents, well then by all means, don’t backup; there’s no
But if you value any of those things at all, then start doing something and do
What “something” should you do? Well, personally I’m a big fan of external
USB hard drives and automated backup software like Acronis True Image. But in
reality what you choose is less important than simply choosing
something. As I said in my article What backup program should I use?
it’s a lot like exercise: the best program for exercise or for backup is
whatever one you’ll actually do.
Because it will happen.
Your hard drive will die, or you’ll erase it by mistake or the kids will, or
something will happen that will make you curse. Loudly.
And wish you had been backing up.
I’d love to hear what you think. Visit askleo.info and enter 11734 in the go
to article number box to access the show notes, the transcript and to leave me
a comment. While you’re there, browse over 1,200 technical questions and
answers on the site.
Till next time, I’m Leo Notenboom, for askleo.info.