There can be many different types of data loss as well as many different causes for it. Sometimes data loss is temporary and can be recovered if one has the necessary knowledge to do so. Other times the data loss will be permanent and any information will need to be reentered.
The number one cause of data loss is mechanical failure. This can include such things as electrical failure, media crash or hardware failure among other things. When these things occur, it is important that you attempt to recover the data first. However, in order to safeguard your system, there are several things that you might consider.
Protection against electrical failure could include installing a battery back up system which will allow you to safely shut down your machine in the event of a problem such as the loss of electricity. This prevents the machine from stopping while processing or even when not processing. To protect against media crashes, it is important to pay attention to sounds that come from your machine. Sometimes you might need to replace media in order to maintain your data.
The number two cause of data loss is human error. This could include damage done to the physical hardware by dropping it or even by moving it while it is processing. In addition, humans may delete information without actually intending to do so. To protect against damage caused by a move, never move a unit while it is turned on. When a computer is powered up, it is constantly doing some type of processing. To move it can cause the heads to skip which will lead to damage to the data if not an outright loss of the data. In addition, to protect against accidental deletion or overwrite, it is important that people without the necessary skills and knowledge not be allowed to install or remove programming where they have no training.
Software problems and viruses are numbers three and four in the causes of data loss. Everyone is aware that a virus can wipe out an entire system and result in everything found on that system being deleted. Software corruption works in somewhat the same way but it is not a malicious attack on your system and its information. Some software programs have built-in safety features that will protect your data in the event that there is a problem with the program itself. In other cases, you may find you have lost the information and will need to restore it.
The solution for both scenarios is to ensure you have good backups on a regular basis that will allow for quick and easy recovery of your data in the event that you contract a virus or that your software program has a problem.