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For most people, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are the option of first (and often last) resort to store photos and videos, from a child’s birth to the minutiae of daily life. Facebook users alone upload a staggering 350 million photos every day. Photo albums these days are mostly digital, accessible with a click or finger tap instead of packed away in the basement. 

When people share content on cloud-based social media, they’re creating a second copy of that information — and learning to do so automatically with all their photos and videos. That’s the argument that Nat Maple, a senior vice president and general manager at Acronis, makes in re/code

This “Facebook Conditioning Effect,” as Maple calls it, has trained people, whether they realize it or not, to back up the media they capture every day with their devices. That’s a good thing, but it’s not enough to upload a video to Facebook or share a photo on Instagram and assume those memories will be available for posterity. And what about personal data beyond photos and videos — think tax files, medical records and that novel you’ve promised to finish — that aren’t backed up at all?

“The main reason that the Facebook Conditioning Effect hasn’t yet permeated our entire digital lives is because a number of recent high-profile data breach cases have highlighted our chief concern — that our data isn’t safe when it’s not handled directly by us,” writes Maple.

People upload photos of their pets to Facebook without hesitation but keep irreplaceable data filed away in the basement or stashed on a laptop. That personal data is vulnerable to loss, whether because of a dramatic disaster such as a fire or a random hard drive failure. Those losses, however, can be easily and cheaply avoided.

“When it comes to protecting data, the safest way to store it is in multiple, secure locations,” writes Maple. “Just as our photos now live in our devices and on Facebook, keeping important personal information in multiple places (i.e., a hard drive and the cloud, a backup drive, etc.) should come as second nature.”

World Backup Day (March 31) is a good reminder that there’s no time like the present to protect those wedding videos or tax records before it’s too late.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMRIWojf2K4]

h/t: re/code

[Image via World Backup Day

About Acronis

Acronis is a Swiss company, founded in Singapore. Celebrating two decades of innovation, Acronis has more than 1,800 employees in 45 locations. The Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud solution is available in 26 languages in over 150 countries and is used by 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.

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