Acronis revises survey results about backup habits

Acronis released a revised report on its survey about users' backup habit.

Acronis True Image backup software. Dong Ngo/CNET

After I blogged about how Acronis misinterpreted its survey data, mistakenly reporting an alarming 87 percent of users back up their data only once every two or three months, the company released a revised report on the matter on Thursday.

The new report shows that nearly two-thirds (64 percent, as opposed to the earlier contention of 87 percent) of users back up their computers every two or three months, which is still much less frequently than is recommended to keep data safe.

In addition, the survey found that 80 percent of the some 6,100 participants surveyed in North America have experienced data loss or recovery of some sort.

The survey suggests that most of us need to take backup more seriously, and do it on a much more frequent basis. This is especially important considering the increasing risk of malware to computers, which often store critical data, such as financial and personal information.

The survey also found that 81 percent of users have had to reinstall their computers' operating systems or software applications. According to the survey, data loss cost those affected significant time and effort, with 48 percent of those surveyed reporting that the reinstallation process took more than four hours on average.

Personally, I don't know how credible these numbers are considering the error found in the previous report. Nonetheless, I can't stress how important backing up is. I've seen many friends learn this lesson the hardest and most expensive way.

Apart from Acronis True Image--which is one of my favorite backup programs, because of its capability to automatically create an exact copy of the hard disk and allow you to restore the entire machine--you can also use other free programs, such as GFI Back Up Home Edition. Or just get an external hard drive and simply copying information over.

Think of backing up as automobile insurance: it's a hassle to have and you hope you'll never have to use it, but it's really dangerous and sort of irresponsible to go without it.

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