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The 6 Best Practices to Avoid Data Loss — Implement Now

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Data shapes decisions and today, businesses are running on a data-driven ecosystem. The decisions made based on facts, numbers, figures, trends, and stats help businesses drive more sales and improve the internal as well as external processes. However, with ever-increasing occurrences of data loss—mainly due to hardware or software failure, human errors, malware
attacks, data breaches, and more— data protection has become a major challenge.
While businesses can’t survive after data loss even 6 months, individuals who lose their photos and videos of times and places that they can’t relive or relish again often suffer from intense agony and never-ending guilt. The guilt of not backing up data that could have helped them recover from the data loss.
Small and Medium businesses (SMBs) are the most affected sector of the industry. It isestimated that 58% of SMBs are not even prepared for data loss. Also, according to a study by Backblaze, nearly 1 of 2 people (46%) lose their data every year.
However, data loss is preventable and lost or deleted data can be recovered with appropriate backup and recovery solution. To help you, we have listed the 6 best practices that can help you avoid data loss and recover from a data loss disaster.

6 Best Practices to Avoid Data Loss

Create Regular Backup


A regular—preferably scheduled—backup is crucial to keep your recent data and changes copied securely. You can choose to set up and perform either a full backup, an incremental backup, a differential backup, or a combination of a full backup (maybe weekly) with a daily incremental or differential backup.

An average user can use a simple external hard drive for the backup or use cloud storage to secure important files. If data is critical, keep at least two copies of the original data—one on an external backup drive and other on the cloud, preferably. Choosing the right backup storage hardware and software is also crucial. For creating a backup, you can use Windows inbuilt backup and restore functionality or go with a third party backup software. Also, invest in a quality storage drive—one with a longer data retention ability and lesser susceptibility to failure. You can refer to Backblaze hard drive reliability stats to learn which hard drives are more reliable.

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Develop a Backup and Recovery Strategy


Once you decide the backup category and technology to use, it’s time to develop a backup and restore strategy. It addresses problems that may occur during backup or restoration process such as backup unavailability or failure, network issue, backup security, and power loss.
Therefore, analyze and identify the key elements that are required to perform the backup and restoration process uninterruptedly. Also, figure out how often you need to archive data and if it’s feasible to backup all data. Keeping a backup of unnecessary data adds more load and further delays backup and restoration process.
You can use encryption to keep your backup safe from unauthorized access. Also, keep at least one backup offsite to ensure backup availability even if a disaster such fire, storm, flood, or earthquake strikes.

Never store backup server or drives at low-lying areas such as basement to prevent damage from floodwater or leakage. Store backup servers and drives at a cool and dry place to avoid damage to the drive.
The backup availability is the key factor to avoid data loss and ensure business continuity

Test Backups


Backup data and forget is usually what is being followed. However, such practices and assuming backup will work when needed often lead to permanent data loss. During data restore, it may turn out that backup is not working as intended or there’s some error while restoring the files. Also, the drive may fail or get damaged due to mechanical issues or physical damage.

Therefore, testing backups regularly should be a top priority to avoid data loss actively.
Testing a backup will reveal associated challenges and insights that may hinder the restoration process when the time comes. Also, if the technology you chose for backup is reliable or not.
For instance, after backup check the drive status via SMART data. Inspect backup drives for any physical or mechanical damage. If possible, test your backups weekly or monthly.
Most importantly, keep the process well documented so as to help the organization back up and restore when needed even if those who created the process are not available.

Keep a Data Recovery Solution Handy


A data recovery software can be of great help when it comes to data loss prevention.
The software can help you restore files that are not available in the backup or when the entire backup is unavailable.
Precisely, a data recovery software helps you recover the deleted files and files from a severely corrupt or accidentally formatted drive. As a matter of fact, accidental deletion is quite common and human error leads to most data loss cases.
Therefore, keep a data recovery software solution— such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional—available onsite to tackle accidental file deletion or data loss due to drive corruption.

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Always Update Software and OS

Updates make the system stable; improves performance and more importantly, brings security patches that protect your system from various online as well as offline threats, which may otherwise lead to a data breach or permanent data loss.
By installing the regular updates, one can overcome common issues such as system crash, freeze, program not responding, compatibility issues and more that otherwise can lead to data corruption and loss.

Antivirus and Malware Protection Measures


Cybersecurity is one of the biggest concern for an organization and individuals.
Therefore, it becomes important to keep system protected from online threats. One way is to keep system and software updated. However, to safeguard the system from malicious sites, compromised Wi-Fi networks, and attacks, you also need a reliable and trusted antivirus and anti-malware protection.

You must use a VPN while accessing internet via a public WLAN. Especially when you access sites that need your login credentials such as social media sites or internet banking. A public Wi-Fi is the best location for Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack.
Also, you might have heard of Ransomware attacks such as Petya and Wanna Cry.
Similar attacks are still a widespread problem. In fact, ransomware attacks are growing at an alarming rate of 350% annually. And these attacks are now more sophisticated—mostly targeted at SMBs and professionals due to their insufficient data security and protection measures.
‘Prevention is better than cure’—follow the adage and you will be able to safeguard your data.


Conclusion


Organizations and individuals have started investing time and money in the backup and recovery planning. Perhaps, they have now realized the importance of backup. However, people often lack knowledge on how to create and manage backups. And most people don’t even have a backup.
Thus, a data recovery software such as the Stellar Data Recovery can make a huge difference when it comes to business continuity and restore the workflow. The software helps get back the lost or deleted data from all kinds of storage media and comes handy when backups aren’t available.
Also, there are other supportive measures that needs to be taken care of for better data protection. The blog discusses and addresses the required supportive measures as the best practices one should follow—whether it’s an organization or a person—in order to safeguard data and avoid data loss.

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