How and why Data loss happens

How and why Data loss happens

One of the scariest things to happen is losing your DATA! If you have experienced it, I am sure you agree with me. Imagine the report you have been working on for days, your client’s list or all your vacation pictures just gone and never to be recovered.

Data loss can happen in a number of ways, let’s briefly look into five of the most common causes in which we lose out data:

Accidentally deleting or overwriting files
This happens all too often! As humans we make errors, saving, updating & deleting files is an everyday task and simply mistakes happen. The recycle bin does offer some protection, but there so many ways it could be bypassed e.g.: shift + delete or file too large, are a few.

Hard drive failure
One of those nightmare scenarios, where you save all your work and the drive just fails. Hard drives are one of the most fragile parts of a computer, most experts agree that after 3 -5 years the disk starts to deteriorate and a backup procedure should be followed. Failure can happen due to external or internal factors like:


File corruption
Software corruption
Human error – modification of system files or improper formatting


Power surges
Accidents – water/ fire or being dropped

Malware & Virus infections
When connected to the internet, we are exposed to a wide range of threats. A good antivirus software will protect us to an extent, but attacks are becoming more sophisticated and most times the user unknowingly allows the entry of malware into the computer. According to a B2B international survey, most common means of entry into your computer is through email-based attacks (21%), the second is through phishing (17%).

Depending on the virus, your data could be stolen, encrypted or even completely destroyed. Lately, attacks using Crypto-ransomware have been common, where the virus encrypts your drive and holds it ransom till you make a payment.

Theft & Accidents
According to research firm Gartner, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds. It’s painful to lose both your computer and data to theft, though costly you can replace the computer but the data in it will be lost forever.

Any accident involving fire or liquids don’t go well electronics. With laptop usage growing fast, liquid spillage has become a real problem. Water or coffee spilled on the laptop could short circuit and although hard drives have protected casing, it could well become inaccessible.

Power failure & Surges
Unexpected power loss is bad for the computer as operating systems follow many procedures when shutting down, and this could eventually make your computer inoperable. For example, important files are updated and modified in the background while you use the computer. A sudden power loss could make them corrupt, making your data inaccessible in addition to the loss of your unsaved work.

A sudden change in voltage could seriously harm any electronic device, your computer is no exception. Usually, the blunt of the force is absorbed by the power supply unit of the device, which could be replaced if damaged. But it could very well damage other parts and there is a high possibility you could lose your data.

Losing data is a nightmare in any occasion. Fortunately, there are ways we can make sure data loss is prevented or minimized by following a good data safety procedure, which includes:

Regular backups
Up to date operating systems
Active malware protection
Use of surge protectors
Educating yourself/staff on malware entry
Use of multiple backups

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