The importance of protecting computer data cannot be stressed strongly enough. Many people get so involved in generating files, photos and other computer data that they forget that protecting them from loss is also necessary. After all, what good are these files if they are inaccessible?
Even though website after website and expert after expert tout the importance of data backup, the sad truth is that the majority of computer users, as high as 95%, do not backup their data with an effective plan, if they even have a plan at all. Look at some of the possible consequences of hard drive failures and data losses:
In a home computer data loss, photographs taken at important family events, such as recitals, birthday and family reunions could be lost. The event cannot be restaged; therefore those digital memories are gone forever if retrieval is not possible.
Business computers and servers store information that is vital for continued operation. The expense of hard disk recovery and the loss of immediate revenue could force a business to close its doors. Statistics show that this scenario could potentially cause business closure in 74% of data loss cases. This was according to a November 2011 survey of European businesses.
Therefore, the query remains as to how a person or business can lessen the impact of impending data loss. Make no mistake; it is not a question of whether a computer's hard drive will fail, but when it will fail. Normal wear and tear, power failures or surges and natural disasters damage hard drives and cause data loss in thousands of computers every year. The only sure way to protect a computer's files from loss is an effective backup plan.
The home user might consider backing up files to an external hard drive or to optical media, such as CDs or DVDs. Online backup plans have also become more affordable to the home computer user. Data recovery software can be installed on both home and business computers, ideally before data loss occurs. The best recovery software will include an emergency data recovery disk that can boot the computer apart from the operating system.
A business might want to consider implementing redundancy in the backup plan. Having multiple copies of the backup set in various locations can help ensure that one of these locations will remain accessible. A small-business owner may not be able to afford a huge server array. However, smaller server setups may be within their budget. Additionally, online backup is a good option for a small business. Furthermore, it can allow sharing and collaboration if the business has employees that work from home or on the road.