PC users are storing vast amounts of data on their home computers with 46 million users losing valuable data last year.
The “State of Internet Security: Protecting Your Digital Life” report by Webroot has revealed that because PCs were left vulnerable to hardware failure, software corruption and human error, personal data was left unprotected and lost.
Although 98 per cent of PC users surveyed have anti-virus protection on their computers and 95 per cent use firewall protection, few have safeguards in place for their data. Only 18 per cent currently back up data on a regular basis and nearly one in five had never backed up their personal files. The primary reasons cited for not backing up were forgetting that it doesn't happen automatically and that it takes too long.
Research showed that every day last year at least 126,000 people in the United States and United Kingdom lost files stored on their PCs, while nearly half of all PC users (43 per cent) have lost digital files or data at some point in their lives. More than 80 per cent of all incidents were caused by hardware failure, human error and software corruption.
Paul Lipman, Webroot's senior vice president and general manager of the desktop business unit, said: “Based on our research, nearly 90 people per minute experienced some loss of personal data last year. The focus of PC security has traditionally been on protecting the computer, and not the data stored on it. But it's the precious personal files – digital photos, music and financial records – that cannot be replaced if they are lost.
“The average number of digital photos stored is roughly equivalent to taking a picture every day for five years. If those files were suddenly destroyed, that is a lot of personal memories that could be lost. But equally concerning was the finding that more than half the people we surveyed store financial records on their PCs, many with absolutely no data recovery safeguards in place.”