The Most Common Causes of Data Loss
By Matt Brennan
Data loss is a serious problem for any business or organization. Losing valuable files is equivalent to losing time and money. If the problem is serious enough to require the help of a professional, there’s also the cost of the repairs.
Data loss can occur for several reasons, and it can have varying severity in impact. Below are the most common causes for data loss and what you can do to help prevent this from happening.
Nobody’s perfect. Sometimes employees make mistakes. Sometimes management does. When files are inadvertently deleted or overwritten it can be problematic.
Proper training might help. It may help employees to know whether they must back up the files, or if the files they’ve been working on will be saved automatically.
Automation in the workflow can cut down on the amount of human interaction required. Recovery may be as simple as opening the trash or recycling folders. Other times it may be accessing previous versions of a document. Sometimes file recovery software, or a data recovery specialist may be needed.
Unexpected Software Corruption
Improper shutdowns can cause significant issues with your data and result in corrupted software. Sometimes software simply corrupts as it ages. When this happens, it may not be usable the next time you need it, or critical information may be deleted from the files.
It’s always important to save your work and shut down any programs safely. When documents are properly saved after changes, it’s more likely that the correct version will be there when you need it.
Viruses and Malware
Many computer viruses have the capability to bring your machine or even network to a standstill. They can steal or delete significant amounts of valuable data. And what’s worse, is they make their way onto your computer through seemingly innocent routines like email links or phishing scams.
Anti-virus software and regular backups are the best ways to guard against this as well.
Hard Drive Damage
Hardware malfunctions and hard drive damage are a significant cause of data loss. When you think about it, it makes sense. Hard drives are fragile and can easily crash if not cared for properly. They can be damaged by overheating, or a physical hit or drop to the computer. But like any other piece of electronics, they’re also subject to wear and tear over time.
When the computer regularly crashes, or routinely runs slow, it may be time to have your hard drive looked at by a professional.
Hackers or Cyber Criminals
People with ill intent are another cause of data loss. Many think of bad actors from outside the organization. In some circumstances that is the case, but not always.
The unfortunate part is that they can also come from within your organization. Safety measures like two-factor authentication, secure firewalls, and a strong password reset program may all help to keep your network safe from those who intend to do it harm.
Back Your Files Up to Prevent These From Grinding Your Work to a Halt
There is no good time to experience data loss. In addition to the preventative measures listed above, it’s important to remember to back up your information as much as possible. This can be done by using remote hard drives, cloud storage, or any remote storage options.