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Data loss. Causes and prevention tips

Hailey Avatar By: Hailey | Last updated March 27, 2020

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We store on our devices almost everything related to our lives. From personal and financial information, to memories such as photos and videos and so on. Every organization, institution and business relies on digital information. It is therefore obvious that data loss can be disastrous: it can lead to severe financial loses, identity theft and much more.

There are several causes of data loss, from simple accidents like spilling coffee on your laptop to premeditated cyber-attacks, but the consequences can be equally unpleasant.

Here are some of the most common reasons for data loss:

  • Virus attacks on your computer. Malware infections are a common cause of data loss for companies and regular users as well. Ransomware attacks are also popular among hackers: they stole your data and ask for a ransom in exchange for it.
  • User errors. Users perform hundreds or thousands of daily operations on their computers: from saving files, to updating, creating, renaming, moving or deleting data. Accidents are bound to happen and more often than not, human errors such as deleting or overwriting something by mistake are responsible for data loss
  • Hard drive crashes. Research shows that more than 140,000 hard drives crash weekly only in the United States, for various reasons like mechanical or human misuse. They can fail due to power outages, overheating, exposure to magnetic fields, accidentally dropping them, etc.
  • Sudden losses of power. Power outages are very bad for your computer. In order to properly shut down, your device has to follow specific complex procedures and when they are interrupted by sudden power losses, your data may get lost or your computer can malfunction.
  • Your laptop/computer can get stolen
  • Accidental exposure to various liquids, substances, such as water, coffee and so on. Enjoying our morning coffee in front of our laptop is a routine activity for most of us, which only increases the risk of accidents. Spilling coffee on your computer can lead to short-circuiting your machine. Your keyboard isn’t the only part that can suffer from such an accident. If you also like to have your coffee with sugar, that can also lead to serious corrosion that can damage your processor, memory or maybe your entire motherboard.

Here are some data loss prevention tips for you:

  • Make a regular habit of saving everything as often as you can and constantly backup your data. The easiest and safest way to do that is via cloud (online) backup. That way you can have access to your files/data from any device as long as it is connected to the Internet and you can’t lose your data due to any of the abovementioned factors
  • Clean and dust your computer regularly
  • Use an Antivirus software, don’t open suspicious mails and don’t click on suspicious links
  • Try to keep liquids away from your laptop
  • Don’t forget to create an image backup even if your computer runs perfectly fine. Don’t wait for signs of hard drive failure to do that, because it may be too late.