There is nothing more frustrating and potentially devastating for a computer user than to suffer from major data loss. Whatever the reasons; be it a careless mistake by your own hands or something completely out with your control, the resulting feeling is no less painful. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can protect yourself against such problems, providing you with the reassurance that your files are safe and sound for whenever you should need them.
Most documents, images and videos are automatically saved in the standard designated folders found on a computer’s inbuilt hard drive. While this is great for convenience, it also means that any damage to your operating system will also affect these files and if ever a system restore is necessary, all data will be lost completely. You should always be sure to back-up any important files by either installing a second internal hard drive or, to be even safer, using an external one – even a CD is better than nothing.
Any particularly important documents such as legal forms, business contracts or manuscripts should not only be copied onto a second (or even third) drive but should also be printed and kept as a hard copy. This way, even in moments of complete technological disaster, say for example when you find yourself without power or your entire computer is stolen or damaged beyond repair, you still retain vital access to those all-important files.
Update your Back-up
It can be all too easy to make a copy of your files once and smugly assume that you are protected from data loss but keep in mind that any updates or changes to the files on your main drive must also then be re-copied or updated onto your back-up storage to ensure they stay up-to-date. There is nothing more annoying than thinking you have successfully retrieved a document, only to find that it is in fact an old, unusable version.
Beware of Viruses
Viruses continue to be one of the biggest threats to computer files. By attacking the operating system, they can destroy data and steal the user’s personal information with potentially devastating results. Email scams in particular are notorious for carrying these kinds of viruses, with new cases still emerging all the time, in spite of greater awareness and protection than ever. The best way to stop your computer from becoming affected is to always ensure that your anti-virus and internet security protection is up-to-date and in full working order; run regular system checks to eliminate any problems before they escalate; stick to trustworthy websites and ignore popups or emails that seem suspicious.
Keep your System Clean
It might sound basic – and it is – but you’d be surprised just how much of a difference it makes to keep your computer clean. By ensuring that liquids are kept well away from it to avoid any nasty spills and regularly cleaning any filters to make sure they are free of dust, you allow the system to continually work at its optimum level, reducing the risk of damage to the internal workings of the hard drive.