We often preach the importance of maintaining a good backup scheme, but when it comes to the internet, such a task would now be incredibly overwhelming. Just how much data are we talking about? According to the guardian.co.uk, enough to fill a stack of books stretching from Earth to Pluto 10 times over. Put into a different perspective, it would take one top-end iPod for every two people on the planet to back up the entire internet.
In more concrete terms, the amount of data online now sits at 487 billion gigabytes. And get this - that number is expected to double in size in the next 18 months, according to technology consultancy IDC. Compare that to in 2007, when the IDC estimated the world's digital content to be at 161 billion gigabytes.
The rapid rise in data can be largely be attributed to digital cameras, cell phones, and the social networking phenomenon.
"Devices such as camera phones, and the web 2.0 services like social networking sites have created a nation of digital hoarders," said Mike Altendorf, managing director of EMC consulting, the firm who sponsored the research.