Data loss is an event where information contained in an information system, i.e., computer, USB drive, server or mobile phone is destroyed due to failures in storage, transmission or data processing. This could be devastating as the information could be of great value and therefore precautions should be taken to secure the data.
Before discussing the different measures to apply in the unfortunate event of a data loss, we first need to understand the causes of data loss. The most common cause is through hardware or physical system malfunctions which account for more than 40% of data losses. Hardware malfunctions could be as a result of power failure, a head crash or controller failure. Another cause of data loss is through human errors. Human beings are not perfect and we sometimes mistakenly delete or reformat data causing the erasing of information stored on a device.
On a different note, software corruption can equally lead to data loss; installed programs may malfunction and shut down suddenly deleting all the data that may have been stored. Other causes of data loss include computer malware, hacking, etc.
If you’re in a city that has plenty of tech in it, for example New York. You can contract managed IT services in New York City which will take care of regular data backup and disaster recovery as well as ensuring safe storage and transmission of data.
Data loss may be disastrous and have far-reaching consequences as it did with the J.P. Morgan data theft. Confidential information containing private data of millions of Americans was lost to theft from America’s largest bank. Fortunately, measures exist to help you recover lost data depending on how you lost this data in the first place.
Firstly, handle removable media such as USB drives or external hard disks with care to prevent further damage that may disrupt data recovery. Do not format these devices or try repairing them on your own. Secondly, seek professional assistance from an expert in data recovery. These experts are equipped with the right skill set to make the proper diagnosis and potentially recover most lost data, if not all of it.
Alternatively, you could use external third-party software designed specifically for data recovery. They work in a relatively straightforward manner and are quite fast. If you opt for the latter, ensure to use genuine, approved and authorized programs to prevent introducing malware into the information system. Unfortunately, data lost due to physically damaged storage devices cannot be recovered in any way.
What then, would you do prevent a data loss disaster? The best approach is to backup your data on a cloud platform or on an external hard disk. Backing up your data helps in fully recovering original data in the event it is irreversibly damaged. This won’t directly stop the loss, but it’ll render their impact to almost nothing. Good computing practices can also go a long way in ensuring safe data storage. For example, handle your removable storage device with care by avoiding physical damages and keeping them away from fire and water. Avoid inserting your storage media in malware-infected systems and install/ update your antivirus software.