Tag Archives: Data Loss

What Is Your Data Worth To You?

The holidays are upon us, and many people will be looking for a way to make extra money. Well, we here at Mozy are excited to offer a new way for you to make some cash! All you have to do is send us all your old family photos and home videos, and we’ll pay you $100 cash! I mean, those pictures and videos are OLD, right? Right? OK, so we’re not actually going to do this program, and let’s be honest, the thought of selling your family memories is somewhat preposterous (at least we think so).

We recently ran some surveys in New York City and San Francisco, where we asked people if they would be willing to sell their laptops to us, on the spot. Nearly 98% of the people we surveyed said they would be willing to sell their laptop for an average price of about a thousand dollars, or roughly the cost of the hardware. On the surface, this makes sense. After all, for a thousand dollars, you can buy yourself a brand new laptop. But then you start to think about all the stuff you carry on your laptop. If you’re like most of us, you’ll have pictures, music, videos, and work files on your laptop, and many of those are irreplaceable. All of a sudden, your laptop starts to look a lot more valuable.

We ran another set of surveys in Los Angeles where iJustine asked people if she could buy their laptop – data and all – on the spot. Just check out their responses.

Fairly telling, we think. And it just so happens that when we reminded the people we surveyed in San Francisco and New York that they would lose all of their files with the laptop, a solid 23% of them changed their minds, saying that their laptops were absolutely priceless. The fact that people changed their minds after thinking about the information contained on the laptop points out what Mozy users already know – that you can’t put a price on irreplaceable memories and information. Once digital information is gone – whether you’ve lost it to theft, disaster, or sold to a stranger on the street – you can’t get it back. Back it up.

What’s Your Business Data Loss Recovery Plan?

The New York Times warned small business owners to think about a disaster recovery plan last week. Jennifer Walzer, the author, has experience working in small businesses and understands a complete plan isn’t always possible. However, she does write that some elements of a disaster recovery plan are better than none.

According to the article, data loss is the most common business disaster. Here is the second of six steps Walzer suggests to make sure you get the right solution for your business’s needs:

“Consider backup options. Your backup must be offsite, secure and available for recovery 24/7. One popular option that meets the above criteria, with the added benefit of ease of use and automation, is online backup.” (A Small-Business Guide to Disaster Recovery)

The Baltimore-based law firm Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dan learned that data loss can happen to anyone anytime. A senior partner was preparing for a trial in Arkansas when his computer crashed two days before the hearing. The firm had yet to implement a backup solution, so the Director of Technology, David Roden, found himself on the next flight into Arkansas.

After this, Roden began looking for a reliable solution that wouldn’t hog their network resources. Shortly after that, the firm decided on MozyPro. If a computer ever fails again, anywhere in the world, Roden will be able to manage the recovery right from his office.

MozyPro provides simple, secure, and automatic backup that can literally save your business in the event of a disaster without the large investment in time and money of other backup solutions.

Customer Spotlight: Eileen Souza

Eileen Souza stored all of her digital data on an external hard drive. It held eight years of her personal financial and tax data. Among other things, the drive also stored 12 years of extensive family history research. Souza had collected hundreds of documents and digitized thousands of family photos, some of which are more than 100 years old.

When Souza started her computer on December 16, 2008, her external hard drive no longer appeared. She tried everything she could think of to access her data; she even bought new cables to see if her computer would be able to read the drive. It was dead, and she could not access any of her files. Years of family history research and irreplaceable photos of her family’s history flashed before her eyes. To add insult to injury, she faced the prospect of not paying her bills because all of her financial information was on the drive.

Luckily, Eileen had signed up with Mozy in August 2007, so she ordered a Mozy DVD restore with all of her 30,897 files. While waiting for the DVD’s to arrive, she downloaded from Mozy’s website all the information she needed to pay her bills on time.

“The DVDs arrived December 22, and by that evening I was 100% restored and back to normal with absolutely no loss of data. Needless to say I am still backing up all my data with Mozy,” Souza said.

The Best Intentions

I’m always surprised by the statistics which suggest more than 50% of companies have little or no backup strategy. Whether it is reluctance to new technology, perceived lack of threat to their computers or servers, or the misconception that backup is too expensive, many companies decide to forego off-site backup, thus opening the door for catastrophic data loss.

Take AVSIM for example. AVSIM, a leading website dedicated to the flight simulation community focusing mainly on Microsoft’s Flight Simulator program, recently had their two servers hacked and their site brought down. The company had no external backup system. Thirteen years of hard work and success where instantly wiped out.

“Yes, we dutifully backed up our servers every day,” the site’s founder said. “Unfortunately, we backed up the servers between our two servers. The hacker took out both servers, destroying our ability to use one or the other back-up to remedy the situation.” As of right now, AVSIM founder fears that the company may never recover from their data loss.

While we don’t wish disaster upon anyone, the truth is, disasters happen. Accidentally deleting a file, contracting a virus, or being the victim of a hacker can ruin your business in minutes. Unfortunately, stories like that of AVSIM’s are occurring more and more. I’ve made sure my friends and family have a backup plan, and so should you!

Mozy Customers on US Airways Flight 1549

USA Today Personal Technology Columnist Ed Baig published a story of two passengers on US Airways flight 1549 that landed in the Hudson River earlier this year. While one passenger was using Mozy online backup and able to recover his data, another wished he was using Mozy:

"Few people suffer data loss in quite as harrowing a fashion as Bill Wiley. He was a second row passenger on the plane that was famously forced to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River. The passengers all survived the crash, of course. But Wiley still hasn’t recovered the two computers he had on board, containing about 250 gigabytes of data from his employer Computer Associates.

Flight 1549 Wiley had been good about backing up files on the two computers by sharing the contents of one hard drive with the other. He also kept data on thumb drives. And he rarely traveled with both machines, but had to in this case because of an assignment. "I had no idea how screwed I was about to be," he recalls.

Fellow passenger Paul Jorgensen was more fortunate, at least when it came to his computer. The night before the flight, Jorgensen backed up "a ton of data" on his IBM ThinkPad via a business account his employer had with the Mozy online backup service. Jorgensen works for Epocrates, a producer of medical software.

"Pretty quickly after I realized I was 100% safe [on the ferry] I realized I was going to be in pretty deep trouble without that laptop," says Jorgensen, who had been seated in the first row of the plane. "My life is in that laptop."

Within a day, Mozy sent him 6 DVDs with recovered data. "The accident was on a Thursday. By Monday I was completely back up and running."

Fortunately, most people won’t ever have the experience of losing a laptop as a result of a crash landing into the Hudson River, however, catastrophic computer failure does occur on a daily basis as a result of hard drive crash, leaving a laptop in the taxi, or something as benign as a spilled cup of coffee. By contrast, Mr. Wiley is out thousands of dollars and countless time, while Mr. Jorgensen (who has been using Mozy) was back up and running within a few days.

We’re grateful that all passengers on Flight 1549 were in the hands of such an experienced and skillful crew and were all and able to return to their loved ones without any loss of life or significant injury.

Update: ComputerWorld Columnist Lucas Mearian also published a story about Mozy customer Paul Jorgensen:

"The only thing else not lost forever was the data stored on the laptop, copies of which were kept on the servers of an online backup company. Epocrates uses Mozy to back up data and, uncharacteristically, Jorgensen had backed up his files the night before the flight. Six DVDs holding the data were sent to Jorgensen on Jan. 19, just four days after the crash. "I was left without an excuse to not work. It was almost too quick," he joked. . . .

Without the backup, he would have not only lost all of his business data, but a lot of personal data and photos that he kept on the lost laptop. It was one less thing to worry about, he noted."