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UK fails to back up for the future

Users value their PCs above many other possessions, but most never back up their data, according to a survey

Most British computer users are still failing to back up their data even though they value it above many other possessions.

That's the conclusion of a survey published this week, which warns that home PC and laptop users are "heading for data disasters" because of their slapdash approach to their digital information.

Out of 420 users people surveyed, two-thirds never back up their data at all, and another fifth only do so occasionally. Seven percent make a safe copy of the information on their personal computer every week, and only five do so each day -- which should be the minimum standard for any business.

This is despite that fact that many of these people claim to place a high value on their data. Over 35 percent of those questioned chose their PC or laptop as one of the top two items they would rescue from a house fire.

This may be particularly true of those who know they never had the foresight to make a secure copy of the data on their hard drive.

Lack of time was the most popular excuse given by those who don't backup their data, followed by the cost or complexity of backup technology.

The survey was published by Backup360, which sells online back-up services for SMEs and home users. It says that remote backup is a better choice than storing important data on physical storage like CDs and Zip drives -- which could also be destroyed by an accident in the home or office.

Such online backup systems are becoming increasingly common, with storage firm NDO and BT both launching such services this month. They are expected to prove popular with broadband users, who can use their high-speed Web connection to upload precious data quickly.