Why Don't People Back Up Their Mobile Devices?

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At the start of 2016, there were 3.4 billion global smartphone subscriptions, according to this year’s Ericsson Mobility Report. They expect that number to reach 6.3 billion in the next five years. Meanwhile, tablet ownership has topped the 1 billion mark, eMarketer estimates, and they expect that number to continue climbing as well.

But only a small percentage of these mobile consumers consistently back up data on their devices – even though, as this year’s Acronis World Backup Day Survey shows, one in three consumers has suffered digital data loss.

While security neglect by users is a familiar story to IT professionals, the reasons why consumers fail to back up mobile device files are many, including lack of security awareness or concern, impatience with the process, uncertainty about how to back up files, an aversion to spending more money, and previous unsuccessful experiences.

Sometimes there are valid technological hurdles. For example, while iPhones have built-in backup capabilities through the iCloud app, they require a stable Internet connection to back up and restore files. On a slow connection – still a common problem because many homes lack broadband – the length of time it takes to complete the backup to iCloud may be so frustrating to device owners that they don’t let the process finish or even bother backing up at all.

Further, to recover even just a single photo or contact that’s been accidentally deleted, iPhone users must restore all of the device’s content and applications to the last backup. Again, some device owners simply may decide it’s not worth it.

There are additional technological annoyances and obstacles – not to mention financial concerns and other fears – that stand between mobile users and effective backup. For example, mobile users may:

  • Delete content from their phones to free up space, not realizing how to recover pictures, as those are not in the most recent backup.
  • Not want pay more to upgrade to a larger iCloud storage plan.
  • Prefer backing up locally (typically to their desktop or laptop). Unfortunately this requires them to use a cable to connect and iTunes to back up.
  • Not trust iCloud storage after reading about hackers breaking into Apple’s cloud service and leaking celebrity photos.
  • Fear vendor lock-in agreements that restrict their data to one vendor, with no freedom to change vendors.

Those are a lot of reasons why mobile users don’t back up their data, and the list probably could be longer. The bottom line, though, is that technology and other barriers make mobile users less likely to back up their devices. Add in the fact that most mobile users these days have data and files on multiple devices – smartphones, tablets, PCs, even wearables – and the backup process becomes even more daunting and less likely to occur.

How Mobile Backup Should Work

Despite the lack of backup diligence displayed by the typical mobile device owner, many are genuinely concerned about losing valuable digital data such as family photos and videos, personal financial documents such as bills, receipts, and tax returns, music files, graphics, business files, and more.

It’s clear that what many mobile users want is a frictionless mobile backup solution. Indeed, “ease of use” was listed as the most important data protection feature by 36% of the more than 4,000 global respondents to the Acronis World Backup Day Survey, followed by security (30%), and privacy (26%).

To be truly frictionless – and effective – mobile backup must be as automated as possible, reliable, and affordable. In other words, in the age of consumerization, mobile backup (not to mention a few other things) must be convenient and hassle-free or many users simply won’t take the initiative.

More specifically, a frictionless mobile backup solution would:

  •  Require no attention after initial (and simple) configuration
  • Enable an easy method to back up multiple devices to a single account in the cloud or locally
  • Enable backup over Wi-Fi
  • Provide flexibility in how users restore data, so they can restore and recover only the data they want – even a single photo or contact
  • Allow people to recover to any device – not only iPhone to iPhone, but from an iOS device to Android – or access their files via web interface from any device

The bottom line is that backing up mobile data is like brushing teeth: Mundane as it is, it is absolutely necessary to avert eventual disaster. The difference is that mobile users haven’t been trained from childhood to back up their data.

Mobile Backup with Acronis True Image 2017

Acronis True Image relies on automation and smart technology to make backup quick and easy for mobile users. User-friendly features include:

  • Backup of all content on the device (the mobile operating system takes care of apps and settings).
  • Automatic backup of mobile data to the user’s local PC across the same Wi-Fi network (setup requires only a QR code scan; no typing necessary).
  • Backup of mobile content to the cloud from anywhere with an Internet connection.
  • User access to their data in the Acronis cloud from any device through a simple interface.
  • User access to files from mobile devices through a touch-enabled portal.
  • Back up multiple devices (including both iOS- and Android-powered) locally or to the Acronis cloud.
  • The ability to restore single files
  • Functionality that allows Android devices to back up data from SD cards and the main memory.

The latest version allows users to configure backups and review the status of any of their mobile devices or computers, regardless of location; automatically back up Facebook; quickly search for files in local and cloud backups and archives; and launch a full image backup in just two clicks.

To learn more about Acronis True Image 2017, click here. To read about the software’s mobile features, click here.

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