Data backup helps users to save photos, videos, contacts and all the other precious information that is usually crammed into mobile devices which are widely used in daily life. Some recent surveys have however found that a large proportion of people have a conflicting relationship with file saving, including a sizeable number of users who are completely unaware of what it involves.
Backups: how many people actually do them?
Each day, 113 devices are lost or stolen every minute: a total of 162,000 devices every 24 hours. These are shocking figures but are still not convincing enough for some, especially those who think such things can only happen to other people.
A leading IT company carried out some research to find out how many people know what a backup is and how many actually carry them out. The figures which emerged are worrying to say the least:
- 18% of those interviewed declared that they regularly carry out a backup of their files, allocating an order of importance to them according to the type of file. The results show that photos and videos are considered the most precious, followed by personal data and passwords, then documents and finally contacts;
- The majority of people, around 84% of those interviewed, declared that they occasionally carry out a backup, but 55% of these use a flawed method, without the right tools;
- 13% replied that they have never carried out any type of backup whatsoever and, paradoxically, they are the ones who place the highest value on their data.
This survey provides an interesting insight into the psychology of those who use mobile devices regularly. Awareness of the risks of irregular data backup is high, while the fear of losing precious memories is shared by many, yet the majority do not dedicate the necessary attention to their devices’ security. Why?
The psychology behind backups
The viewpoint formed in the minds of those who do not carry out regular backups is interesting. Despite being aware of the importance of saving their data, they find the idea that something might happen to them almost inconceivable.
Mental processes of self-suggestion and self-persuasion come into play, making the user postpone backups, thanks to a myriad of excuses such as: ‘I’ll do it when I have time’, ‘I’ll organise my files later’, etc. In reality this continual postponement is just the denial of a fear which the person does not wish to deal with directly. This situation is not surprising then if we consider that denial and downplaying one’s fears are part of human nature.
How to get into the habit of carrying out backups
There are some interesting methods which enable people to influence their mind and provide it with the necessary discipline to realise the importance of regular data backups. These are simple mnemonic connections which link a response phrase to a counterproductive thought. Here are some examples:
- Negative thought: ‘My data is not that important’; positive phrase: ‘your things have value, protect them’;
- Negative thought: ‘I will keep a copy of my files in my emails’; positive phrase: ‘email attachments are not secure’;
- Negative thought: ‘My PC is new and it won’t break down’; positive thought; ‘a new computer does not mean that data is protected’.
Some good examples of best practice, useful for disciplining the mind and encouraging users to carry out backups more regularly, via the correct instruments.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith