Proactively Prevent Business Data Loss

By: Richard McNeal


For most individuals and businesses, data loss happens. Even the most established technology companies with expert experience in network and laptop security, accidents and hacks happen and data is lost. With the right support and preventative measures, however, losing information doesn't always have to end in disaster. By making information safety a priority of your computer IT staff and for the employees who use your equipment, data loss can become a rare occurrence.

Preventing Data Loss
Most causes of work station (laptop or PC) data loss can be attributed to human error, physical malfunctions and hardware failure. The Boston Computing Network characterizes data loss into four different types: human error (overwriting a major file), file corruption (virus attack), hardware (fried hard drive), and site-related (earthquake causes coffee to spill on laptop).

For an IT staff member, preventing data loss within a company means making sure employees are:
- using equipment with up-to-date antivirus software
- securing their laptops both physically and electronically with computer locks and good passwords
- backing up their work onto a secure storage device
- using a surge protector and uninterrupted power supply (UPS)

Additionally, computer IT staffers need to have a best practices document in place that employees can follow related to how to handle incoming email, working outside of the office, and traveling. The document should describe how employees can avoid data loss through phishing scams, when and how they should use other wireless networks and how to protect company laptops from theft. By giving employees the information they need to prevent data loss, companies can stop many problems from every happening.

Recovering Lost Data
So much information flows electronically now that it is likely some data loss scenario will occur in a business. Whether it is a major server loss or a small problem on a single hard drive, there are certain things that should be done to avoid making the situation worse.

- Don't: Use the system restore or system recovery setting on the computer. This will not bring your info back instantly
- Don't: Implement an off-the –shelf system recovery software on your own. If you use the incorrect type of software, you are likely to ruin your chances of recovering any information.
- Do: Contact a computer it specialist or tech professional to attempt to restore the data safely and correctly

Many IT and computer services offer continued preventative maintenance and care, but in the case you don't regularly use an outside IT service, contact one as soon as you realize a problem has occurred.

In addition to dealing with data recovery, IT and computer services provide a vast array of additional preventative measures for combating data loss. For instance, many IT service providers will offer security and back-up solutions like electronic data storage, information security, server support, desktop support, and networking.

Recovering lost data is not always possible but there are ways to reduce the chances of complete loss.

~Richard McNeal, 2009

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Richard McNeal is a frequent writer for Ascensha, a VTM Company.
Portland computer support is now even easier to find. Contact Ascensha.com, an Oregon small business IT management firm to talk to an expert about securing and maintaining your small business computer network.

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