Steps to Prevent Data Loss

Even though, data loss may seem unavoidable, you can still prevent it with the proper precautions and safeguards. For doing so, first you need to analyze the primary causes and warning signals for data loss. Once done with the research, you need to learn about prevention tips so that you can take the necessary steps to prevent data from getting lost in the first place.

Recognizing the Leading Causes for Data Loss

Below given are the top 6 causes of data loss:

1) Hard drive failures

Hard drives fail now and then due to so many reasons. For example, in the US, 140,000 hard drives crash every week. About 60% of hard drive fails due to a mechanical failure and the rest simply due to misuse. In genuine cases, they fail simply because the hardware becomes worn out while others fail due to external factors like:

  • Overheating
  • Water or fire damage
  • Exposure to magnetic fields
  • Power outages or surges
  • Impact due to being dropped

Even internal factors can cause a failure in the actual file system itself resulting in a hard drive failure. These internal failures can be a result of:

  • Software corruption
  • Instability to read drive

Human error:

  • Changing state of file system
  • Accidental deletions of imperative files
  • Improper installation and removal of files
  • Improper drive formatting/partitioning

Usually, hard drive fails due to single harmful event while other times they fail slowly over time. Here are some of the indications of hard drive failure:

  • Continuous hard drive crash
  • Noise in a cyclical pattern
  • Rising number of bad sectors during chkdsk scans
  • Unusual increase in computer temperature
  • Issues during the boot-up process
  • Very slow performance of PC during standard processes
  • Repetitive freezing of computer requiring a hard reboot
  • Files failing to open, getting corrupted or suddenly disappearing

Don’t wait! Just get backup software like NovaBACKUP instead and back up your computer. Also create an image backup to prepare for disaster recovery scenarios where you need to recover your entire system, including your OS and your applications rather than just your files.

2) Accidental deletions (user error)

Sometimes, we tend to delete or overwrite files by accident. The Windows Recycle Bin usually offers a safety net, but in several scenarios, you cannot simply count on the Recycle Bin to come for the rescue. Below are few situations in which the Recycle Bin may be bypassed:

  • Files deleted from drives which don’t have a Recycle Bin
  • Files that are larger than the capacity of the drive
  • Files that are permanently deleted using Shift + Delete
  • Files deleted using the Windows Command Prompt

Another source of accidental deletions is email where over 200 Ontrack® PowerControls™ customers, a leading mailbox recovery software solution got 5 email restorations requests from over 60% of users per month. With software like NovaBACKUP Business Essentials including single mailbox restore, you can restore just the emails or mailboxes you need.

3) Computer viruses and malware infections

There are so many new viruses that can put your data at risk. According to a B2B international survey, 35% of IT specialists reported about the data loss from their companies due to malware infection.

The most common way to enter into your computer is through email-based attacks (21%), followed by phishing (17%). Computer viruses have the ability to destroy, steal or encrypt your data, and even corrupt your PC hardware or infiltrate your entire network.

Some of the more recent viruses like crypto-ransomware are responsible for earning hackers millions of dollars by holder users data for ransom. Likewise, Cryptowall has cost US businesses and consumers $18 million in just over a year (April 2014 to June 2015) as told by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Hence, if you backup your properly in place, you can simply restore your files from your backup rather paying these hacker thieves for the same.

4) Laptop theft

According to Gartner, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds. So, you need to be very alert with leaving your laptop anywhere. As smash and grab crimes are often prompted by the thief, the replacing of stolen laptop may cost you more, though studies reveal that 80% of the cost is actually a result of the data breach.

Full-disk encryption can help wipe your computer remotely that contain critical and confidential data thereby saving your data from getting stolen. Having a proper backup in place, will also help you in other way.

5) Power failures

Power outages and power surges result in an unexpected shutdown of your computer, which then takes its toll on the components of your computer. Specially, the operating systems are complex and must follow proper shut-down procedures to make sure all processes run properly. However, a sudden loss of power can interrupt these delicate procedures rendering your computer inoperable.

Sudden power outages may reduce the hard dives lifespan. Every time a computer restarts after a sudden loss in power, the read and write head is quickly reset to its original position causing small imperfections on the disk. These imperfections accumulate over time and cause head crash, which effectively destroys the hard drive.

6) Damage due to spilled coffee or water

When you spill any sort of liquid like water, coffee or any other beverage, there may occur short-circuiting of your entire computer.

Follow these instructions to try to save your laptop from liquid damage.

Immediately shut down your computer→ dry it off→ remove all removable parts→ make sure they are dry and clean of any residue→ wait at least 48 hours to ensure that everything is completely dry before you reassemble your computer and hope for the best.

Take Preventative Action to Avoid Data Loss

Here are the top 10 steps you can apply to prevent the data loss in future:

  • Keep your computer clean and dust-free
  • If your PC gets hot, take it apart and clean it
  • Save and backup your files regularly, to multiple locations
  • Create an image backup before the first signs of hard drive failure
  • Keep your anti-virus software up to date
  • Don’t open suspicious emails or attachments
  • Don’t leave your laptop unattended
  • Use a surge protector
  • Don’t delete files you don’t know what are, especially system files
  • Don’t keep liquids close to your laptop

Having a solid backup of your data can help you get your lost data back during HD failure. With a backup software solution like NovaBACKUP, you can create a file back, an image backup or even just a copy of your files to a secondary device in an automated fashion.