Computer Backup: Pick a Card, Any Card

June 23rd, 2015

Computer Backup
Earlier this month we blogged about the results from our 2015 Annual Backup Awareness Survey. There were charts and tables and numbers, and as everyone read it their eyes glazed over and they drifted into a sound sleep. For the last 8 years we’ve collected, parsed and presented this data each June. The upshot is that only 8% of people backup their computers daily while for the remaining 92%, computer backup is a game of chance. If publishing charts and graphs and such doesn’t seem to reach the 92% that are backup procrastinators, what else can we do?

Let’s play a game

    What you need to play: Go get a standard deck of 52 playing cards. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

    Game set-up: Your computer has been stolen! Based on the statistics we’ve gathered over the past 8 years let’s see how much of your data is lost. By lost data we mean the photos, documents, spreadsheets, etc. you changed or added on your computer since your last backup.

    Playing the game: With the playing cards face down, each player in turn takes the deck of cards, shuffles it multiple times and then randomly picks one card from the deck (no peeking). Match the chosen card to the table below to see how much data you’ve lost.

    How much data will you lose?
    Card Drawn Amount of Data Lost
    2, 3, or 4 All of your data is lost
    5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 One year or less
    10, Jack or Queen One month or less
    King One week or less
    Ace One day or less

    Record how much data you’ve lost, return your card to the deck and give the deck to the next player. The game continues until there are no more players to draw from the deck. Each player gets only one turn.

    Winning the game: The person who loses the least amount of data wins. Multiple players can win by losing the same amount of data. If all players lose all their data, there is no winner.

    Playing time: A couple of minutes (most of that time will probably be spent looking for a deck of cards).

    Time to recover your lost data: Proportional to the time since you backed up.

Drawing aces

In the real world, having a computer backup strategy is “aces.” We’ve put together a Computer Backup Guide outlining many of the different backup options available. Some of the options are manual, some are automatic, but all can help you backup and recover the data that resides on your computer. After all, backing up your computer shouldn’t be a game of chance.

 

Andy Klein

Andy Klein

Andy has 20+ years experience in technology marketing. He has shared his expertise in computer security and data backup at the Federal Trade Commission, Rootstech, RSA and over 100 other events. His current passion is to get everyone to back up their data before it's too late.
Andy Klein

Latest posts by Andy Klein (see all)

  • Max Lein

    I would really love to pay for Backblaze to back up my Synology. Really. My new Retina MacBook Pro’s SSD is way too small to hold all of my data.

  • Interesting approach. I had expected that you would also model the likelihood of a crash since that is what folks are betting on when they don’t backup. A game where only face cards are crashes, and each card draw is a month of operation of your computer (or whatever your statistics show.) I don’t need convincing but it might help with those who feel they have no significant risk of a disk crash.

  • jfinlay

    Linux or FreeBSD (FreeNAS) coming anytime soon?