What are the Common Causes of Data Loss?

Data loss can be a big problem, both for home users and businesses, and is never welcome. Here are some of the top causes of data loss, and how to prevent them.

Human Error
Humans aren’t perfect, and human error is probably the most common cause of data loss in most instances. This typically means the accidental deletion of a file, which is easily done without thinking. If you’re running a business, it can pay dividends to train staff in the best practices when handling data. Additionally, having a decent backup and data recovery strategy is vital to ensuring the smooth running of a business. With a backup, data loss through accidental deletion can be resolved fairly swiftly.

Viruses and Malware
A virus or malware attack can cripple a business, and lead to irreversible data loss. Even worse, a single affected machine can spread across an entire network, potentially causing massive disruption. Ransomware, where data is encrypted and inaccessible without paying for a decryption key, is becoming more and more of a threat. Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems, as seen with the WannaCry ransomware attack back in 2017, which saw NHS systems disrupted. Again, a decent backup strategy can help somewhat here, but downtime can still be an issue for larger businesses, not to mention the backup potentially being out of date. Training employees on how to spot phishing emails, and ensuring you have a decent antivirus installed can help prevent data loss from a virus or malware attack.

Physical Faults
Physical faults to data storage media like hard drives and solid-state drives account for most of the devices our data recovery see. Hard drives in particular are prone to physical faults due to the moving components like the read/write heads and spindle motor. Hard drives have limited lifespans, and won’t last forever; they’ll eventually fail with time. Keeping them away from direct heat and moisture can help lengthen the lifespan of a hard drive, along with keeping it safe from bumps, knocks and falls if it’s a portable drive. Again, backing up your data ensures that in the event of hard drive failure due to a physical fault such as a head crash or motor failure, you can restore your data.

This is a particularly unpleasant one, because you're losing your computer, laptop, phone or other device as well as the data stored on it. You can help mitigate the pain caused by the theft of one of your devices by ensuring your data is backed up, and you can protect the data on it by having an encryption solution in place.

Data Recovery