Only a third of us (34%) back up our PC content on a regular basis and just 22% back up all their content, says Symantec, maker of Norton back-up software.

The company says UK consumers are more likely to check the oil and water in their car regularly than back up valuable data on their PCs.

From a survey that looked at the data storage habits of 1000 people in the UK, the results reveal that two in five Brits (38%) have lost files and, when asked to put a value on the total replacement cost of all files stored on their PC, the UK average was £1258 per person.

Aside from the financial implications, Symantec highlights the emotional impact of losing data with photos, work or academic documents suggested as the most devastating to disappear.

Symantec points out that its Norton Online Backup allows up to five household computers to be backed up, managed and restored through a single, central, remotely-accessible account. Pricing is from £49.99 a year which includes 25GB of online storage.