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10 Common Causes of Data Loss

Data loss is a serious problem for businesses of all sizes — and it often has a lasting impact on your company’s financial health. While not all lost data is recoverable, you can minimize your potential for data loss by understanding what leads to data loss. For this reason, we’ve listed the ten most common causes of data loss and how to prevent them.

  1. Human Error
  2. Viruses & Malware
  3. Hard Drive Damage
  4. Power Outages
  5. Computer Theft
  6. Liquid Damage
  7. Disasters
  8. Software Corruption
  9. Hard Drive Formatting
  10. Hackers and Insiders

 

1. Human Error

Humans are not infallible — we all make mistakes and sometimes they’re big ones. For businesses, these mistakes can result in the unintentional deletion of data files or sections of text.

Mistakes from human error can be minimized through several software means. Automation minimizes the amount of human interaction with data while backup systems can preserve previous data states. Implementing more efficient workflows can also help by saving employees time and making mistakes easier to spot.

2. Viruses and Malware

Most people think of viruses when you ask them what causes data losses. For businesses, viruses can steal and delete swaths of data or bring business operations to a crawl, destroying company functionality.

Guard against malware with appropriate anti-virus software. Keep your antivirus systems constantly updated and regularly run scans to catch viruses before they can do any serious damage. Just in case a program wrecks your data, be sure to make regular system backups as well.

3. Hard Drive Damage

Many data losses occur due to hardware malfunctions, with one of the lead perpetrator being the hard drive. These are the most fragile parts of computers, breaking down more often than any other computer device.

To prevent hard drive malfunctions, be sure to work with your device appropriately and keep your computer away from excessive dust. You can also ensure that a random malfunction doesn’t destroy your data by regularly backing up your hard drive on an external drive or cloud server.

4. Power Outages

Power outages can interrupt business operations substantially, shutting software systems down without warning. Not only can this result in the loss of unsaved data, but it can also cause existing files to be corrupted due to improper shutdown procedures. Sometimes, entire programs may be rendered non-functional by a poorly timed power outage.

The best way to protect against these problems is by making regular, automatic system backups.

5. Computer Theft

Losing your computer and your data simultaneously is a horrible situation no matter how it happens. While the computer is worth a sizable amount of money, the data contained in it is worth even more to you and your business.

Ensure that you keep your losses to a minimum by properly backing up your data and keeping it in a safe place. This way, you can retain your important information and transfer it to a replacement computer.

6. Liquid Damage

Spilling coffee or water on your laptop or computer can cause a short circuit, making it difficult to recover your computer, let alone the data stored inside. If your computer somehow gets completely submerged, the situation gets even direr.

To minimize the chance of such damage, keep liquids away from business computers and try to keep laptops stored in water-resistant cases. If your computer does come into contact with water, dry the computer as much as you can and bring in a technician as quickly as possible. For some extra protection, try to keep regular backups of your computer data in a safe location far away from any liquids.

7. Disasters

From tornadoes to fire, disasters are rare yet devastating. They can destroy your computer, your data and even your home or place of business entirely. To minimize the effects of a disaster and ensure you can carry on, back up your data on a weekly basis and keep them in a secure location. You may even consider cloud storage of your backups.

8. Software Corruption

Unexpected or improper software shutdowns may seem innocent on the surface but can cause serious issues for your data. Improper shutdowns can corrupt your data or delete your progress, wasting time and losing valuable data.

Minimize the potential for such shutdowns to affect your business by regularly saving documents during editing and shutting down software appropriately every time. Also, be careful when powering down your computer and shut off any programs first. Use diagnostic programs carefully to ensure they don’t interrupt software processes.

9. Hard Drive Formatting

Accidental formatting of your hard drive can cause you to lose data instantly. Fortunately, if you don’t overwrite your hard disk, an expert can recover your lost data.

10. Hackers and Insiders

Unauthorized guests in your network can cause serious damage to your data, deleting and stealing any data they wish. They can even damage entire network processes if they have sufficient access to your system.

Minimize the potential for such losses by using firewalls in your system to keep out hackers. Employee permission levels can also be used to prevent insiders from accessing high-level data. Also, try to keep an eye open for signs of malicious activity.

Contact CTI to Learn More

Need help implementing systems to protect your data against losses and ensure your business’ continuity? Consolidated Technologies, Inc. can help with experienced technicians who can design and implement the solutions you need. Our innovative services have helped more than two thousand companies improve their systems and we can do the same for your business.

Start your CTI journey today — contact us today using the contact form to discover our custom solutions.