Virtually every industry, and most individuals, use computers for work in some capacity. Whether it’s the loss of access to treasured personal photos or important business data, computer disasters can be devastating, both personally and financially. Protecting computers and data is so important that new technology has been developed to prevent computer disasters that can result from natural disasters such as floods and fires. For example, the ioSafe 214 is one of the latest disaster-resistant computer appliances. Fully waterproof, it can be submerged under 10 feet of water for up to 72 hours, as well as withstand temperatures up to 1550 degree for 30 minutes.
According to one industry report, over 90% of companies that had a disruption of data lasting 10 days filed for bankruptcy within a year, 50% of them immediately. Statistics from the U.S. Small Business Administration show that 25 percent of those businesses never reopen. While no computer will last forever, there are some steps you can take to ensure that any disruption in the flow of your valuable data will be an inconvenience rather than a disaster.
One of the most common reasons for computer problems is cybercrime. Malware and viruses can be sent through emails or seemingly harmless applications. Purchasing and maintaining adequate virus protection is essential. Viruses can corrupt files, and even infect the entire hard drive. They can also be inadvertently spread to everyone on your contact list, which is never appreciated by either friends or business associates.
In addition to virus protection, it’s also a good idea to set up a firewall to protect your computer against being used by hackers to store illegal data, which could result in losing the right to access the internet. Once a hard drive has been infected, some viruses can only be removed by reformatting the entire drive, which can mean losing all your valuable data. Besides a firewall, always be sure to allow regular security updates for your operating system. These updates often provide patches, or solutions to newly discovered security issues. Hackers are especially active following public announcements of newly issued updates so they can exploit the vulnerabilities of those who haven’t yet installed them.
According to a survey, the number of computer crashes has more than doubled in the last four years. 66 percent attributed data loss to these crashes, compared to 29 percent in 2010. Recommended regular computer maintenance that can help avoid such crashes includes defragging your computer regularly, as well as checking storage capacity. In addition to running antivirus software regularly, there is also hard drive monitoring software available, some of it free.
Even if you’ve taken all the right steps, crashes can still occur due to components wearing out. That’s why backing up your data is essential. Experts recommend that data should be backed up and stored in at least two locations. Many businesses utilizes multiple locations around the globe, which provides the added benefit of protection against potential changes in the legal status of data.
Many people use online backup providers. For a small monthly fee, some provided an unlimited amount of secure storage for your important files. Some even offer the service for free for a limited time. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, storing a backup of your hard drive in the cloud makes it less susceptible to any potential physical damage by weather, pets, or even a cup of your own coffee. Another advantage to this method of data backup is that it can be accessed from anywhere, and with multiple devices, such as your smartphone. For added security, these companies utilize encryption while transferring files, as well as a double password system.
Other people prefer to back up their hard drive to a separate external hard drive. According to an article PC World, you can use the built-in app in Windows to create a system image as well as a recovery CD or flash drive. One advantage to this method is that recovery can be faster. They provide step by step instructions for the process.
Once you’ve followed all of the above steps, you can congratulate yourself on having successfully averted all the most common computer disasters.