How will you protect your digital memories? With Canvio, Toshiba plays the fear card

How will you protect your digital memories? With Canvio, Toshiba plays the fear card

Summary: Toshiba on Monday announced its Canvio family of portable hard drives by playing the fear card: how do you plan to protect your digital memories?

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Toshiba on Monday announced its Canvio family of portable hard drives by playing the fear card: how do you plan to protect your digital memories?

First, the news: Toshiba's new line of six-ounce drives comes in capacities of 500GB, 640GB, 750GB and 1TB and are priced at $119.99, $139.99, $159.99 and $199.99, respectively. They come in black, silver, blue, red and green colors.

But what's most interesting is how Toshiba's selling them. According to research sponsored by Toshiba, Americans worry more about losing digital valuables in a computer crash -- from family photos and home videos to important documents -- than having a wallet lost or stolen and being audited by the IRS.

Here are the data points from the announcement:

  • 70 percent of Americans have lost some type of data on their computers.
  • 89 percent of consumers are aware of the importance of regularly backing up their computers to avoid losses.
  • 57 percent never back up or only do it when they think of it.

Or, as Toshiba puts it: How can consumers be saved from themselves?

According to the data, 42 percent of respondents feared losing computer data -- just behind fear of being laid off, at 46 percent.

Participants 18 to 24 years old are most concerned about computer crashes, at 65 percent. That's just behind the fear of a break-in burglary, at 70 percent.

Interestingly, the study says women are especially concerned about family records and memories, with 78 percent admitting to being "chief memory officers" of the family.

We all have some sort of data loss catastrophe story to retell, be it a Powerpoint presentation on a USB drive, a cache of music or movies on an external hard drive or five years' worth of productivity (or time wasting!) on a laptop or desktop computer.

Whether fried, dropped or just plain corrupt, we've all been burned at some point.

The popularity of cloud storage has helped, but it's no silver bullet -- just a safety net. (After all, if you drop that external hard drive, your archive is toast, too.)

My strategy, at least for photos: reproduce the important ones as many places as you can. From local storage and external hard drives to Picasa, Flickr and Facebook, if I want to be absolutely sure I keep a file, I spread it around like it's contagious.

What's your strategy?

Topics: Toshiba, Data Management, Hardware, Storage

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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12 comments
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  • What?s your strategy?

    I manually copy/paste docs and pics to an external hard drive, and sometimes to a DVD.

    One of these months (grin) I'm going to try Skydrive too.
    Tom12Tom
    • Kind of limited don't you think?

      You could spend $5USD per month and have essentially unlimited storage at <a href="http://www.backblaze.com/">Backblaze</a>.

      If you really wanted to, you could build one of their systems for yourself. Look at their blog to find it. I don't personally need 67TB of storage, but if I do, I know where to look.

      I am in no way, shape, or form associated with Backblaze. I just happen to think they have a decent deal.
      Letophoro
  • RE: How will you protect your digital memories? With Canvio, Toshiba plays the fear card

    I will not share anything on any Toshiba device. I have a brand new $700 Toshiba boat anchor that's for sale cheap. Buyer beware, Toshiba does not honor its warranty agreement.
    ITOdeed
  • agreed...sharing is best strategy

    I deal with this issue even beyond just my family photos. I have for many years collected historical photographs of a local landmark, the Cliff House in San Francisco. But collecting all these old photos in one place is actually a danger since they could all be lost at once (fire, theft, etc). So I created a website to share them...

    http://www.CliffHouseProject.com

    Unlike a lot of websites, I don't use watermarks and I post most of the photos at full resolution. And I let people copy the images without any strings attached. So in short, I agree with your strategy...sharing.

    gary
    gdstark13
  • RE: How will you protect your digital memories? With Canvio, Toshiba plays the fear card

    Carbonite or other similar service. Your house could burn down.
    andrew@...
  • RE: How will you protect your digital memories? With Canvio, Toshiba plays the fear card

    carbonite or other similar service. Your house could burn down.
    andrew@...
  • RE: How will you protect your digital memories? With Canvio, Toshiba plays the fear card

    So how does Tosh think that their device will help the
    more than half who don't get around to backing things up
    I wonder ?? Perhaps they will call up and remind you!
    Hey Toshiba, it's a hard-drive well targeted marketing
    might help you but other than that it's another expensive
    device for the average user to leave in the same room as
    the computer and go up in flames, or out the door with
    the computer itself ...
    nigebj
    • Probably thinking along the lines of the WD One Touch...

      ...external My Book drives.
      PollyProteus
  • RE: How will you protect your digital memories? With Canvio, Toshiba plays the fear card

    Most of my important files (work, finance, bookmarks and such) are present on at least two computers (a desktop-replacing laptop and a subnotebook). Both are running the same OS and mostly the same software.
    Images go onto an external harddrive, and then are copied frequently onto another, smaller external drive as well, so I always have two copies of them. I empty the memory card of my camera only when I am certain I have two copies of the original images on two separate harddrives.
    Once a year or so, I burn a year's worth of images (all those of a certain year and/or special events) on good branded DVDs, to free up space on the smaller of the external drives. Those DVDs go into a classic file folder, clearly marked (date range, description of the event etc.). The photos from important family events (marriages etc.) are always also distributed on CD or DVD to family members all over the country, and uploaded to a photo-sharing service so anyone with access to the set can have them printed. Some of my photos also go on Flickr or onto one of our websites, but most are not stored or published online.
    I use Dropbox as an online, offsite backup service for a handful of important work files, some insurance policy papers, address lists and so on. My traveling subnotebook will download new files from that online box from wherever it is logged in, and they also remain available with Dropbox. Some of these (scans, in some cases) also reside on a protected server with our insurance company. And on USB thumb drives.
    The greatest risk would be our house burning down with no time to save at least one laptop or external drive - we work from home so all computer gear is in the same place. Hence the vital work and finance files stored online. But I always feel a bit itchy about using the cloud for important stuff... If a French teenager can hack into Obama's Twitter account, someone can also hack into an online file storage service and use the data found there to steal an identity.
    One can stuff a lot of data on a 16 or 32 GB USB stick and one of those can always be kept with a trusted family member. I'd guess you could seal one in a ziplock bag and just bury it somewhere. A hole under a 300-year oak sounds like a decent off-site backup... ;-)
    Fschwep
  • RE: How will you protect your digital memories? With Canvio, Toshiba plays the fear card

    Windows Home Server with mirroring along with straight backup external drives on my main computer.

    Straight backup drives happen once a week.
    WHS backs up the OS nightly.
    WHS backs up the data once a week (on a different day from straight backups to external drives).

    Plus I have four external drives that I do a manual backup to once a month.

    So barring a nuke going off while I'm at my house, I'm pretty sure I'm safe.
    PollyProteus
  • RE: How will you protect your digital memories? With Canvio, Toshiba plays the fear card

    Why wouldn't one use an online backup system like Mozy? Seems like a failsafe approach rather than just a safety net.
    caprdn
  • RE: How will you protect your digital memories? With Canvio, Toshiba plays the fear card

    The NUMBER ONE point in my layered data protection strategy is - after multiple stings - NOT to touch anything CONTAMINATED by WESTERN DIGITAL.
    The last sting involved their external 250G MyBook. Its UNMARKED, generic power supply jack is DESIGNED to let you connect some other power supply somewhere down the road. In my case it was 12v instead of the 9v.
    Consecutively everything inside FRIED. Both of the logic boards AND the internal actuators. Total destruction in one single shot.
    My earlier WD stings involved the likes of reading heads disintegrating on brown outs and other stunts, just after the warranty expired.
    Clearly it works for Western Digital well. DEFINITELY NOT for me!
    Think of my post when you're about to pull the wallet in computers store.
    mic602