Major Data Loss Events Through History [Infographic]

by . May 13th, 2014

This week happens to be both National Small Business Week and Hurricane Preparedness Week in the US. The safety of physical property from both natural and man-made disasters will always be a concern for any business.

Unfortunately, while you could get insurance or complete replacements for a lot of things, not everything could be replaced nor definitively given a dollar value. Information is one thing that is difficult to put a price on — moreso when you’re dealing with data stored before the digital era.

If you thought losing that last .PSD or Excel file you were working on was bad, you’ve got nothing on these major data loss events. GlobalDataVault came up with this interesting infographic that gives the estimated gigabyte equivalent of irreplaceable information lost in important data loss catastrophes throughout history:

Data Loss Events Through History
Data loss is not just a problem for ancient texts either. Non-digitized books, files, music, and photos from just a generation ago still abound – many of these aren’t otherwise backed up or copied. We lose a few every single minute thanks to neglect, improper storage, and the occasional fire or natural disasters.  If your current data hasn’t been recently backed up or isn’t stored on a cloud service, you could still stand to lose all of it through system crashes, malware, natural calamities, or theft.

More:  Why Don’t Small Business Owners Take Emergency Plans and Disaster Preparedness Seriously?

Other Tips to Prevent Data Loss on Analog Media

  • Observe fire safety precautions around your workspace
  • Scan/digitize paper documents and photos
  • Store important analog media (including paper, film, canvas prints, glass slides etc.) properly
  • Consider donating extremely old books, records, and manuscripts to libraries that could maintain them

While the ancients didn’t have too many options, you probably do – at least when it comes to files on your computers and other devices. For data backups on the cheap, you can try services like JustCloud, LiveDrive or Dropbox. That way even if something physically destroys your storage media, the things on them should still be fine.

If you feel you need a level of security better than what’s offered by cloud services, hard drives are now cheaper than they’ve ever been before, and new developments in both conventional and solid state drives promises to make data loss through  hardware failure an even more remote possibility.

Like this infographic? Hate it? Comment below!


Arthur Piccio manages YouTheEntrepreneur and has managed content for major players in the online printing industry. He was previously BizSugar's contributor of the week. His work has appeared multiple times on The New York Times' You're the Boss Small Business Blog. He enjoys guitar maintenance and reading up on history and psychology in his spare time.