Americans value their digital data more than...

Posted by Mark Raby

38% of Americans would rather lose their wedding ring than all the files on their computer, and that's just the beginning of the insights provided by a new study on the importance of digital data.

Wakefield Research performed the study in partnership with Carbonite, one of the leaders in subscription-based data backup and recovery.

The study found that 39% of Americans have not backed up the information on their computer in more than a year, or never backed up their data at all. Yet 40% say if they lost their data they would never be able to recreate everything that was there.

As such, they found the contents of their computer more valuable than other important things in life. 50% said they would rather give up all their vacation time for an entire year than lose the files on their computer.

34% said they'd give up wine for a year, 31% said they'd sacrifice coffee for a year, and 23% said they'd rather live without a cell phone for one month.

"It's interesting to contrast the way people insure their treasured possessions, like their home and their car, with the ways in which they leave their often-irreplaceable digital assets unprotected," wrote Carbonite CEO David Friend in a statement.

According to the survey, for around 25% of Americans the value of the digital content on their computer is worth more than the computer itself. The average amount of digital music and movies stored on a computer was more than $400.

Of course, solutions like Carbonite aren't the only way to keep documents safe. There's an increasing push to cloud-based solutions that allow users to save all their content to an external server so not only can it be recovered if your computer breaks, but you can also get the file from any other computer any time, anywhere.