User-Generated Content Is Called ‚Priceless,‘ Yet Many Don’t Back up Data, a Maxtor Survey Reveals

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MILPITAS, Calif., May 16 – We live in a world of increasingly ubiquitous digital content, and we enjoy and share it via a broad number of in-home and portable devices. Often this content is self-generated or created by our friends and family, including personal photos and other media files that are irreplaceable. Yet nearly half of adult U.S. computer users who have digital content stored on their computer run the risk of losing their digital files forever because they don’t back them up to external devices or media, according to a new U.S. adult consumer survey(1) of computer users, sponsored by Maxtor Corporation (NYSE: MXO), the consumer storage innovator.


The poll of 2,604 U.S. adult computer users conducted by Harris Interactive(R) in early May, finds that based on the six types of digital data and personal files listed in the survey, personal photos are the most valued type of digital content (32 percent), followed by written documents (22 percent) and financial/business records (14 percent). Nearly one third of those polled who have digital content stored on their computer (33 percent) consider their digital content to be „priceless,“ but nearly half of them (46 percent) never make backup copies of their data to external devices or media.

The risk of loss increases as the volume of digital content grows, and the new poll shows widespread use of multiple computing and media devices today. The majority of U.S. adult computer users (72 percent) now own digital still or video cameras, and nearly half of them (45 percent) own or use two or more desktop or laptop computers in their homes. The vast majority of those polled (75 percent) store digital photos on their laptops, desktops or other portable computing devices, and nearly one third (30 percent) have 200 or more digital photos stored.

The top method for sharing digital photos with friends, family or co-workers is via email, and over a third of U.S. adult computer users who share digital photos (38 percent) now do so by posting or uploading them to a website. Half of them (50 percent) print out the photos to share with others.

„Educating consumers and small business owners about the importance of backing up their valuable digital content has become a top priority for Maxtor,“ said Stacey Lund, vice president of marketing, Maxtor Branded Products Group. „As digital media continues to explode, and the complexity of managing that content across multiple devices increases, we’ve focused on making it nearly effortless to automatically protect and manage files. Why gamble with your digital life?“

Nearly half of respondents (43 percent) have lost important data or digital files stored on computers due to a virus, hardware or software malfunction, or some other reason. When asked to put a price tag on their digital content, including the time it would take to recreate that content if it was lost, more than half (55 percent) of U.S. adult computer users would consider this an investment worth more than $1,000.

The most frequently cited reason by those who said they never back up their data is that they are not sure how to do it or that backup is too technical (cited by 35 percent). Twenty-nine percent said they don’t think it’s important enough to worry about, 14 percent think it takes too much time, and 11 percent don’t back up because they believe that backup devices and services are too costly. Among the survey respondents who said they never back up their data, 11 percent said they never knew they had to do it.

„With today’s affordable, intuitive consumer and small business storage and backup solutions such as our Maxtor OneTouch(TM) line or the Maxtor Shared Storage(TM) family of products, many of the behaviors and fears uncovered in our latest national survey can be easily remedied,“ continued Lund. „As the consumer backup industry leader, our goal is to educate our customers before their priceless data is lost.“

As part of its ongoing consumer education campaign, Maxtor is sponsoring its 2nd annual Backup Awareness Month ( in the U.S. during June 2006. Through a broad array of special events and marketing programs, Maxtor is promoting a five-step „best practices“ program for data protection:

  1. Develop a backup schedule. Back up data daily or at minimum weekly.
  2. Back up everything. Today, users can easily backup all of their
    computer hard drive data. There’s no need to spend time sorting
    through every file or folder. Invest in a storage solution that’s
    twice the size of your internal hard drive to give your system room to

  3. Do it automatically — set it and forget it. Use a solution that’s
    easy to set up and provides automatic backups.

  4. Rotate backups, which provide added protection in case of an
    earthquake, fire, flood or theft. Use two drives and rotate one

  5. Don’t procrastinate. Unfortunately, the need to back up data is often
    a lesson learned from an unfortunate experience. Don’t let it happen
    to you. Back up your computer and save the day!

Maxtor has also launched a new microsite ( to help a wide variety of users — from consumers to creative professionals to small business owners — to better understand and select storage solutions that are a best fit for their individual needs.

To listen to a podcast series that highlights Maxtor’s latest innovations in network storage and backup solutions, please visit