Western Digital: UK in "digital chaos" as most Brits still don't back up files

Britain is a nation in "digital chaos", with most people in the UK still failing to back up their data, according to a report commissioned by storage firm Western Digital.

Hundreds of people surveyed admitted that they never save multiple copies of their documents, citing lack of motivation and knowledge as common factors in their decision. Of the 1,500 people surveyed, 22 per cent said they could not be bothered to back up files, and 20 per cent said they did not know how.

The report found that the average UK household has personal files dispersed between as many as 14 different devices, with laptops, smartphones, tablets and USB sticks coming up as primary storage locations.

"Years ago people would get their photos developed and organise them in family photo albums," said Scott Vouri, vice president of consumer marketing at WD. "Now Britain is in digital chaos with only good fortune preventing everyone from losing files and photos forever."

Researchers also uncovered another emerging trend. As well as washing the dishes, hanging up clothes and hoovering, children are increasingly being asked to organise the family computer as part of their chores, sometimes earning pocket money as part of the deal. With adults deferring computer-literate tasks to younger members of the family, an increasingly hands-off approach could be partly to blame for the low awareness of the importance of backing up data.

There is one glimmer of light, however. The UK ranks slightly higher than Germany and Italy in the stakes of digital organisation, with Spain bottoming out the table. Average users in Spain where found to spread their data between as many as 16 different devices.

WD's research coincides with its release of a personal cloud drive, designed for use in the home. My Cloud, which is available in 2TB and 3TB sizes, with a 4TB to be released in November, is designed to be easily operable by even "novice users", and allows users to centralise all of their files in the cloud. My Cloud can also be used to back up computers and files.

Image credit: Flickr (aforgrave)