History of World Backup Day. Your last chance before…

Bill Petro
4 min readMar 31, 2022

There isn’t much history, as the first celebration of this geek holiday was in 2011. World Backup Day is barely a decade old.

But the need is real, now more than ever before. Especially in light of this salient fact: April Fools’ Day. March 31, the day before, is an excellent time to check your backups. On the eve of the day famous for pranks, this might be your last chance.

You may have learned at the University of Hard Knocks that it’s not a question of “if” you’ll lose your data but “when.” Having a redundant copy of it can make all the difference, and you may be able to skip the course at U of HK on Pulling Your Hair Out.


According to worldbackupday.com and other sources:

  • 83% own a computer
  • 89% own a mobile phone

The bad news is:

  • 25% do regular backups
  • 60M computers will fail this year


  • 30% of people have never backed up
  • 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute, or 200,000 per year
  • 43% of data loss is due to human error… or cockpit error, or that space between the seat back and the keyboard.
  • 1 in 10 computers is infected with viruses each month

…and that does not even count the rise of ransomware incidences, which can immobilize consumers and paralyze businesses. A few years ago, the city of Atlanta was held hostage by cyberattackers for $51,000 in bitcoin. Residents could not pay bills, go online to switch on water services, and the municipal courts were closed. Recently sixteen hospitals in the UK canceled appointments and non-essential surgeries due to a ransomware attack.

Now, your friendly neighborhood historian is all about redundancy, all about redundancy — and he’s happy to tell you this over and over again, many times in a repetitive fashion. But then, he used to be Product Marketing Manager for Backup Software in a previous role. When he gets a new computer, the first thing he does is set up the backup routine.

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Bill Petro

Writer, technologist, historian. Former Silicon Valley tech exec. Author of fascinating articles on history, tech, pop culture, & travel. https://billpetro.com