May 21, 2009
Press release

Acronis Survey: Home Users Live Dangerously with Computer Backup Practices


Nearly two-thirds of Users Back Up Every Two to Three Months or Less, But 80 Percent Report They Have Suffered Data Loss

Home PCs and laptops storing the ever-changing data, photos, video, music and photos of consumers' digital lives are backed up by most users less than once a month, according to a new survey of the backup habits of home users conducted by Acronis®, Inc. (, a provider of affordable, scalable storage management and disaster recovery software.

The online survey of 6,091 home users in North America found that 64% of users back up their hard drives just every two to three months or less frequently, far less often than any industry organization or publication recommends. This number is in sharp contrast with another survey finding - 80 percent of users have lost information and had to restore it.

"I learned my lesson the hard way: I had no backups," reported Ryan McIntosh, a college student in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada. "I installed a program improperly and lost every Windows user account and all the data. Eventually, I had to reformat my drive. I lost two weeks worth of irreplaceable data for school."

With consumers storing increasing amounts of critical data, those computers must be backed up more often to prevent the kind of catastrophic loss caused by hard disk failure, viruses and malware, unstable software downloads, user errors or physical disaster. According to Robert Thaler, Senior Director, Marketing, Acronis, users must evaluate their unique situations and create backup schedules that match the importance of the data. Many users back up their computers every week or two, with more frequent backups necessary if information changes frequently and is irreplaceable.

"Today, we rely on our laptops and desktop computers to store so much information - financial data, family records, irreplaceable photos and videos - that we need to treat backup and restore as seriously as we do virus and malware protection and be certain backups are scheduled and run," said Thaler.

Restoring OS, Applications Frequent and Time Consuming

The Acronis survey also found that fully 81 percent of users had to reinstall their computer operating system and software applications. According to the survey, that data loss comes with a significant loss of time, with 48 percent reporting that the reinstallation process took more than four hours.

"I was fortunate enough to recover all my data, but I went without a computer for three days, spent two more days rebuilding it, and it will likely be weeks before I have everything organized again," reported Gary Clement, of Alexandria, Va., after suffering through a serious malware infection.

"Unfortunately, consumer data loss is more a matter of when, not if - it is inevitable," said Thaler. "Users should be sure they have full protection in place for their PCs, which means more than just copying files. That's not disaster recovery. Instead users should back up their operating systems, applications, settings and configurations in addition to photos, spreadsheets and the like."

Acronis True Image Home 2009, the award-winning backup and recovery software, automatically creates an exact copy of the hard disk and allows a user to instantly restore the entire machine. When disaster does strikes, Acronis True Image Home can restore a computer from a major failure in minutes. For more information about Acronis True Image Home 2009 and for the latest special offer, go to

About Acronis:

Acronis is a global cyber protection company that provides natively integrated cybersecurity, data protection, and endpoint management for managed service providers (MSPs), small and medium businesses (SMBs), and enterprise IT departments. Acronis solutions are highly efficient and designed to identify, prevent, detect, respond, remediate, and recover from modern cyberthreats with minimal downtime, ensuring data integrity and business continuity. Acronis offers the most comprehensive security solution on the market for MSPs with its unique ability to meet the needs of diverse and distributed IT environments.

A Swiss company founded in Singapore in 2003, Acronis has 45 locations across the globe. Acronis Cyber Protect is available in 26 languages in 150 countries and is used by over 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses. Learn more at
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Katya Turtseva
VP of Communications