Toshibaon 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.