In the information age, virtually everything we do is done through electronic devices like PCs, notebooks, mobile phones, tablets, etc., and not a day goes by that the world of IT doesn’t grow more complex. We create data every day.
Data is recognized as an extremely valuable asset, and it’s increasingly essential to our personal and professional lives.
The cost of data loss for small businesses is directly related to the value of the data. Particularly for business, the cost extends beyond the financial and can also include time. In a case of data loss we should consider:
• The cost of continuing without the data
• The cost of recreating the data
• The cost of recovering the data
Extreme Summer Weather
The summer of 2016 is expected to be perhaps the hottest ever on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA. Both extreme summer weather and the hurricane season cause a significant increase in data loss incidents during the summer months. Computer users need to pay special attention to protecting their valuable data.
The most common cause for data loss during summer months are:
1. Electrical Events – Summer weather fluctuations lead to an increased number of power surges and blackouts, especially during thunderstorms. These events can damage unprotected computers, and cause severe component issues by sending too much power through a system and overriding the safeguards that normally protect electronics from damage. A hard drive is especially sensitive to these types of electrical fluctuations. Hard drive read/write heads float on a tiny cushion of air over the data storage platters, and sudden power variations can send the heads offline. This can cause permanent damage to the storage platters. Head issues are often accompanied by clicking sounds or other unusual noises.
Electrical storms can be a major problem during summer. Make sure to install a surge protector between the power source and the computer’s power cable to handle any power spikes or surges.
Invest in Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), which uses batteries to keep computers running during power outages. Check protection devices regularly, at least once a year, to make sure that they are functioning properly. Many devices have a signaling light to tell you when they are protecting your equipment properly.
2. Overheating – Overheating can cause computer drives to experience failure. High heat can melt solder on printed circuit boards, preventing devices from working correctly. Summer heat can be a significant problem, as drive failures can result from overheating. Keep your computer in a cool, dry environment to prevent overheating. Many systems begin to fail as room temperatures creep into the 80s and 90s.
Therefore, keep computers in an environment with an average temperature of around 72 degrees F. Give your systems some space to ventilate. Never put a personal computer up against a wall or on thick carpeting, as this allows heat to build up to dangerous levels.
Pay attention to servers and other large storage devices. Many systems have built-in heat monitoring tools that can help you avoid a media failure. Make sure they have adequate air conditioning.
3. High Humidity – Extreme humidity can quickly damage electronics. Condensation causes corrosion and short circuits. Fortunately, humidity is fairly easy to control. However, low humidity can be just as dangerous as high humidity. Dry air allows static electricity to build up, increasing the chances of dangerous electrostatic discharge. Avoid the extremes and check your humidity regularly.
Back Up Your Data for Data Loss Prevention
Always keep a complete backup of your personal and your business’s most important files to prevent data loss and system downtime. Even if all precautions listed above are taken to protect computer systems from extreme weather and high temperatures, consistent data backup is the only way to stay absolutely safe.
Cloud storage could provide an additional source of data backup, but comes with its share of risks and pitfalls, as well.
What to Do When You Don’t Have a Good Backup
If your hard drive is clicking or making strange sounds or if it has physical damage, shut down the drive or computer immediately. This is because the read/write heads are probably hitting or scraping the hard disk platters.
Do not use data recovery software if the hard drive makes strange sounds. Do not start “home data recovery” if your data is critical. You can harm the device, which could lead to permanent data loss.
Then, contact a good professional data recovery service provider.
Choosing a Good Data Recovery Company
The first recovery attempt offers the best opportunity for success. Therefore, choosing a good data recovery company is crucial, especially if the data is very important.
Search for companies that offer no-data-no-charge policy. Estimates should be free and must tell you the exact and final price of data recovery, not a price range. Make sure that all work is done in-house. Find out about their technology and experiences. And last but not the least, check its customers reviews—those will tell you firsthand how trustworthy the company is.
Robert Kotar is the owner of Silicon Valley-based KOTAR Data Recovery, a professional, hardware-level data recovery lab located in San Jose, Ca., the heart of Silicon Valley. Being the birthplace of WD-HA Pro, Kotar Data Recovery has a significant role in the data recovery business. Robert has developed numerous innovative, unique data recovery approaches and revolutionary data recovery tools.