A 10-Step Guide to Prevent Data Loss

March 10, 2022 • Shannon Flynn


Has your computer ever crashed? Losing your data can be frustrating especially if it’s for work. Other reasons for lost data could be hard drive failures or accidental spills. So, here are 10  tips to prevent data loss. 

1. Keep Your Computer Clean

To prevent data loss from spills, place your computer in a safe space. Place it away from food areas, such as the kitchen. If you’re drinking, pour the liquid into a spill-proof container. If an accident occurs, then shut off the computer. 

Dry it as much as you can and take it apart. That ensures none of the internal parts are damaged. In addition, wipe off any dust. If dust accumulates in your internal fan, it could cause it to overheat. 

2. Backup Your Files Regularly 

Backing up information is a simple way to ensure you have what you need. Come up with a schedule of when things need to be backed up. For example, your work files may need to be backed up every week. In addition, test your backups to ensure they’re working properly. 

You can backup your details in multiple ways, such as an external hard drive or cloud backup. Make sure to use multiple backup sources. Also, for work documents in your office have a backup offsite. 

3. Encrypt Your Data

Your information isn’t always automatically encrypted. Encrypting your information can turn it into text others can’t decipher. This is especially important if your details get stolen. So, use a system that automatically encrypts it, such as AxCrypt.  

4. Always Create an Image Backup 

When developing an image for work or social media, make a backup. Many people may wait until signs of hard drive failure. However, at this point, it may be too late. The process of backing up an image depends on your computer type. 

Here is how to do it for a Windows 10 device:

1. Plug in an external hard drive that has enough space 

2. Click on the control panel

3. Go to “Back up and Restore”

4. Create a system image within the upper left corner 

5. Select your backup drive and hit next

Keep in mind the backup may take a few hours. So, consider starting it after your workday. When it’s done you can create a system repair disc or make a recovery drive. The drive will then enable you to restore the image when you need it. 

​​5.  Update Your Antivirus Software

This can help keep you protected from any viruses that could crash your computer. Regularly check your system preferences to see if there are upgrades available. The process will vary based on if you have a PC or Mac. 

Follow these tapes to update a Mac:

1. Launch the program 

2. Open the software window

3. Click the “Actions” options and choose update 

6. Be Careful Clicking on Emails or Attachments 

If an email seems suspicious don’t open it. Also, be mindful of attachments that download unsafe software to your computer. Many scammers try to get you that way. Due to the pandemic, remote work has made people more vulnerable. In 2020, phishing scams were the leading cause of ransomware infections. To prevent data loss, use an updated antivirus and security system. In addition, educate yourself on the importance of email safety. 

7. Keep Your Laptop Close 

Try not to leave your computer unattended, especially in a crowded area. If you do have to step away, ask a friend to watch it for you. Staying alert can prevent theft, which is another cause of information loss. If someone does take it, track it through the Microsoft website. 

8. Use a Surge Protector

A surge protector can keep your laptop safe from voltage spikes, especially during a power outage. Once the power comes back there’s a power surge, which can damage your electronics and lead to information loss.  When choosing a surge protector, look for one with the highest joule rating. 

9. Understand the Different Files You Have

Sometimes you need more storage. In this case, you may start deleting files. Try not to get rid of ones you don’t understand. This is especially important for pre-loaded system files. You can accidentally delete important information. If you’re unsure call a tech company to verify.

Here are some files you shouldn’t delete: 

  • Program files
  • System32
  • PageFile
  • System volume information
  • WinSxS

10. Leave It to the Professionals 

Your information is valuable, so trust the experts. Working with professionals is one of the smartest ways to prevent data loss. If you lose any materials don’t use a random diagnostic tool. Instead, work with a trusted recovery expert to ensure your details are safe. You search online for professionals or take your device to tech places, such as Best Buy. 

How to Prevent Data Loss

In 2021, about 281.5 million people were affected by a data breach. This is often due to not backing up data or working with professionals. To keep your valuable information secure, follow these tips to prevent data loss.