Back in June 2008, Backblaze launched our first Backup Awareness Survey. Beginning with that survey and each year since, we’ve commissioned the folks at The Harris Poll to conduct our annual survey. For the last 11 years now, they’ve asked the simple question, “How often do you backup all the data on your computer?” Let’s see what they’ve found.
First, a Little History
While we did the first survey in 2008, it wasn’t until 2009, after the second survey was conducted, that we declared June as Backup Awareness Month, making June 2018 the 10th anniversary of Backup Awareness Month. But, why June? You’re probably thinking that June is a good time to remind people about backing up their computers. It’s before summer vacations in the northern hemisphere and the onset of winter down under. In truth, back in 2008 Backblaze was barely a year old and the survey, while interesting, got pushed aside as we launched the first beta of our cloud backup product on June 4, 2008. When June 2009 rolled around, we had a little more time and two years worth of data. Thus, Backup Awareness Month was born (PS — the contest is over).
More People Are Backing Up, But…
Fast forward to June 2018, and the folks at The Harris Poll have diligently delivered another survey. You can see the details about the survey methodology at the end of this post. Here’s a high level look at the results over the last 11 years as we look at the backup frequency among computer owners from 2008 through 2018.
The percentage of computer owners backing up all the data on their computer has steadily increased over the years, from 65% in 2008 to 76% in 2018. That’s awesome, but at the other end of the time spectrum it’s not so pretty. The percentage of computer owners backing up once a day or more often is 6% in 2018. That’s no change from 2008. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a program you could install on your computer that would back up all the data automatically?
Here’s how 2018* compares to 2008 for how often people back up all the data on their computers.
A lot has happened over the last 11 years in the world of computing, but at least people are taking backing up their computers a little more seriously. And that’s a good thing.
A Few Data Backup Facts
Each survey provides interesting insights into the attributes of backup fiends and backup slackers. Here are a few facts from the 2018 survey*.
- 21% of American males have never backed up all the data on their computers.
- 11% of American males, 18-34 years old, have never backed up all the data on their computers.
- 33% of American males, 65 years and older, have never backed up all the data on their computers.
- 26% of American females have never backed up all the data on their computers.
- 22% of American females, 18-34 years old, have never backed up all the data on their computers.
- 36% of American females, 65 years and older, have never backed up all the data on their computers.
When we look at the four regions in the United States, we see that in 2018 the percentage of computer owners who have backed up all the data on their computer at least once was about the same across regions. This was not the case back in 2012 as seen below:
Here are links to our previous blog posts on our annual Backup Awareness Survey:
- 2017 – Backup Awareness Survey, Our 10th Year
- 2016 – Data Backup: Are You a Hero or a Zero?
- 2015 – Computer Backup: Pick a Card, Any Card
- 2014 – Seniors are the Kings of Data Backup
- 2013 – The Survey Says: Apathy is Winning
- 2012 – 10% now back up daily, 90% to go!
- 2011 – 94% of computer users still risk data loss
- 2010 – Backup Awareness Month – June 2010
- 2009 – June is Backup Awareness Month
- 2008 – In 2008 we did the survey, but did not write a blog post
These surveys were conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Backblaze among U.S. adults ages 18+ who own a computer in June 5-7, 2018 (n=1,871), May 19-23, 2017 (n=1,954), May 13-17, 2016 (n=1,920), May 15-19, 2015 (n=2,009), June 2-4, 2014 (n=1,991), June 13–17, 2013 (n=1,952), May 31–June 4, 2012 (n=2,176), June 28–30, 2011 (n=2,209), June 3–7, 2010 (n=2,051), May 13–14, 2009 (n=2,154), and May 27–29, 2008 (n=2,723). These online surveys were not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Backblaze.
* The sample composition changed in the 2018 wave as new sample sources were introduced to ensure representativeness among all facets of the general population.
[6-22-2018: Updated the 2008 data to use the “computer owner” cohort versus “all respondents” cohort as the computer owner cohort was used for the 2009-2018 analysis. (AK)]