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5 Common Causes of Data Loss and How to Prevent Them

published 7/30/2020

Did you know that majority of businesses that experience data loss will never recover? At least 60% of small businesses that lose their data go out of business within six months.

There are several reasons why businesses, whether big or small, experience data loss every year. Knowing what threatens your data is the first step towards ensuring that your data stays safe.

Take a look at some of the most common causes of data loss and how to combat them:

1. Hard Drive Failures and System Malfunctions

A huge chunk of the data on your computer is stored in the hard drive. They are the most fragile part of your computer. Unfortunately, hard drives are not built to last forever, and when they break down, they will take your data down with them.

Hard drives have a very high chance of failing within a few years. Though there are some ways to recover data from faulty or failed hard drives, there is no guarantee that your computer expert will recover the lost data, especially if it has a serious issue.

Other systems malfunction that can threaten your data include:

  • Network hardware failure
  • Operating system crashes
  • Physical damage to hardware
  • Software errors and crashes

Some of these threats, like software errors, are less predictable. However, because your hard drive has a shelf life, you can find a way to prevent the loss and save your data. To stay safe, let an expert computer repair technician service your computer to ensure that all systems and hardware are working as they should.

2. Computer Theft

Burglary is a real threat to both commercial and residential premises. Even if you live in a nice neighborhood or have taken good measures to ensure that your business is safe at all times, there are other threats to consider. Your employees can steal a laptop, and you can also lose the computer in an airport while traveling, in coffee shops, or in other crowded places.

Losing the computer will not be as painful as losing the data, even if it only has your memories like family pictures. It is impossible to recover data from a lost or stolen computer.

3. Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are a risk to homes and businesses in different parts of the world. According to FEMA, 40 to 60 percent of small businesses fail to operate after a disaster. This can be because such disasters affect the staff, IT infrastructure, and office structures.

Disasters like wildfires, flooding, earthquakes, blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms, office fires, and more, are not preventable and are a huge risk. The changing climate might make things even worse in the coming years. Therefore, keeping your data safe should be a priority.

Other things like a mere power outage can also harm your data. Though you cannot stop Mother Nature, you can have the right measures to ensure your data survives even the worst natural disasters.

4. Viruses, Ransomware, and Other Malware

Computer viruses can wipe your hard drive clean. They do more than just slowing down your computer. The worst part is that malware is ever-evolving, and hackers use very common or trending stories to send spam emails to gain access to your computer.

Ransomware has also become a huge data killer, and it costs businesses billions of dollars. Hackers lock businesses out of their data and bring their operations to a halt. All these threats and other new strains that your anti-virus system probably does not know about can lead to catastrophic data loss.

5. Human Error

You may have experienced the agony of deleting a file by mistake, erasing some information that you did not mean to erase, overwriting a file, or maybe accidentally pouring liquid on your computer.

Mistakes are bound to happen, whether at home, in the coffee shop, or at work. Knowing how quickly to react, for example, knowing what to do if your spill liquid on our PC, can help save both your computer and your data.

However, you might need an expert to help you get your computer up and running again or recover that file that you accidentally deleted.

How to Prevent Data Loss

Since you cannot afford to lose your data, you should consider:

  • Backing up your data off-site or to the cloud as often as you can
  • Patch your software and operating system frequently
  • Know the lifespan of your hardware especially your hard drive
  • Protect your on-site server room with the latest fire suppression and flood prevention systems like flood sensors that will alert you of the presence of water
  • Install back-up power systems like generators
  • Using business-grade anti-virus and anti-malware protection
  • Have a recover system that can allow you to recover individual files or folders that you might have accidentally deleted
  • Limit users access to only the files or folders that they need

While the loss of data is a serious threat, having a robust system or solution to prevent it will help you keep your trade secrets, client information, and other crucial information about your business safe.

Protect Your Business from the Causes of Data Loss

When it comes to data, it may be best to be safe than sorry. Keep your business safe from data loss so that you do not run the risk associated with it. It would be best to have a good and reliable back-up plan and disaster recovery plan in place.

To know how your business can prevent data loss, keep your computer running smoothly, and have a trusted IT solutions provider that you can trust, visit our website and check out the services that we can offer.

For more information, get in touch with us.