In the 21st century companies and individuals alike rely heavily on computers for business and personal life. Photos, letters, customer records are no longer entirely printed and stored in a cabinet. Ten plus years ago documents were stored throughout offices, homes and within files. This meant documents were spread out and not stored in one location.

Now files, emails, photos are often stored on a laptop or PC, meaning if the laptop or PC is stolen, lost or if data is corrupted, everything is generally lost in one go. Unless you work at a large company the backup is not done for you and your data is not spread around various servers. Small businesses or home users do not put enough effort into protecting their data
If a home user loses all of their photos or videos, life will probably go on. If an accountant, lawyer or shop owner loses their accounts or customer records what will they do? Customers may be lost or your income may drop dramatically. 80% of businesses affected by a major data loss either never re-open or close within 18 months. 
Businesses or homeowners often only ‘wakeup' when something's goes wrong. Some facts to think about: Drive Failure, up to 13% of hard drives crash in the first year! Theft, only 3 out of 100 stolen laptops are ever recovered! Accidental Deletion, 43% of people lose irreplaceable files every year! Disaster, hundreds of thousands of files are lost each year to fires, floods, and other disasters!

Ideally you should back up your data weekly (or daily). Do not simply backup your My Document folder on to a USB drive and leave it next to your PC. Should your PC and USB drive be stolen or a fire destroy both, your backup is lost. A good idea is to have a backup locally and one offsite (physical or online). A small company who cannot afford an expensive service can simply keep a copy in the office and leave a copy in a safe at home. 
Small companies or homeowners can take advantage of the falling cost of software and online backup services. Client based software is available that automatically backs up data to a UK or US based server daily or weekly. Since the data is backed up to a remote server even if the Laptop or PC is stolen or lost data can still be recovered swiftly. 

Graeme Batsman
, CEH, CHFI & Security+IT security expert at Data Defender