Personal Information Management, Risk and strategy to avoid that risk

Personal Information Management – Risk and a strategy to avoid that risk

A study performed by Vanson Bourne and EMC (One of the top data Storage firms in the world.) found that, “Most UK companies don’t believe they can completely restore their data after downtime or data lost.” This is a frightening finding as it relates to us as individuals. Here’s why.

(Before you read the headlines and articles below, please know that studies have indicated that 85% of all corporate data is data that relates to individuals. Meaning that this is personal information and what is called “Meta Data”, which is information about that information.)

Headline 1: 7 of 10 firms have no confidence in systems recovery

By: Anh Nguyen On: 28 Nov 2011 For: ComputerWorld U.K.

“Most UK companies don’t believe they can completely restore their data after downtime or data lost, according to a survey. Seventy per cent of UK organizations are not very confident of their ability to fully recover their systems or data after downtime or data loss, a new survey has found.

At the same time, more private and public sector organizations in the UK than the rest of Europe admitted to suffering a systems downtime in the last 12 months.

Nearly 73 per cent of UK organizations experienced downtime, according to the survey by Vanson Bourne, commissioned by EMC Corp. This is compared to an average of 43 per cent in Europe, with Russia reporting the lowest downtime at 29 per cent.

The most common reason European organizations cited for the downtime was hardware failure.

Vanson Bourne surveyed 1,750 IT decision makers in total, 250 in each of the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux and Russia

How you as an individual should interpret this information:
1.) 85% of all data is either data from and or, about individuals, or Meta data – data about that data.
2.) 73% of UK firms experienced downtime or data loss in the last 12 months.
3.) The most common reason for downtime is hardware failure related.
4.) 7 of 10 firms have no confidence in their ability to recover their systems or their data.

Logical conclusion: Your personal data is at risk!! IF the “Pros” can’t protect your data. You must take matters into your own hands.

Another Headline of interest from today:
HEADLINE 2: Mark Zuckerberg’s Personal Photos Hacked from Facebook
December 20, 2011
According to, a hacker recently got into Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook page and publicized the Facebook founder’s protected personal photos.

According to, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed it has temporarily fixed the problem.
“The bug allowed anyone to view a limited number of another user’s most recently uploaded photos irrespective of the privacy settings for these photos,”

Mark Zuckerberg is the founder and majority stock holder of Facebook. His account was “Hacked”. Meaning it was broken into and personal information was retrieved.

How you as an individual should interpret this information:
1.) Mark Zuckerberg is a Billionaire.
2.) Facebook is one of the largest enterprise scale services / systems and networks in the world.
3.) IF a “Hacker” can get into Mark Zuckerberg’s personal account on Facebook, then it follows that Hackers can get into just about any account on any service they target.
4.) Hackers almost always have bad intentions.
5.) IF hackers can get to your data and do bad things, your personal data is at risk.

Logical conclusion: If Hackers can get to your data they can manipulate it. This is very bad for us as individuals. The best we as individuals can do is keep original copies of our data, and hope it does not get corrupted.

Call to action: Protect your personal data by always maintaining a local copy in the form of a back-up. Regularly perform your backup routines as outlined by your systems operating systems directions. IF you do not understand what that last statement means, get to a person “like one of your teenage kids”, or a friend, or pay for someone to do this for you. In the extreme case of a natural or man-made disaster, two copies should be made. One held locally. The 2nd copy should be stored remotely off site in a secure place.

This is very important for you to understand on how to protect yourself from losing your personal information. I hope this enlightens you and gives you some perspective.


Peter Gailey
Your Personal Information Management Coach
The PIMCoach


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>