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Data loss

Data loss definition

Data loss is the unintentional or accidental loss of data stored on electronic devices (e.g., computers, mobile phones, or hard drives). Data loss can be caused by various factors, such as human error, hardware failure, malware or virus attacks, natural disasters, or power outages. Losing data can have serious consequences (such as financial or reputational harm). It’s important to back up your data to prevent data loss.

See also: data bank, data corruption

How data loss happens

  • Hardware malfunction. When a hard drive, the hard drive’s memory, or another component fails, this may result in data loss.
  • Software corruption. Malware, viruses, or other software errors may cause data loss by overwriting or corrupting files.
  • Theft. You may lose data if your device gets stolen or lost and you haven’t backed it up.
  • Human error. Data loss may occur as a result of employee mistakes (e.g., accidentally deleting or overwriting files).

How to prevent data loss

  • Data backup. Ensure you regularly back up all your important data. You can do this by using an external hard drive or cloud storage.
  • Keep your software up-to-date. Install regular updates to your operating system, applications, and software. Using the latest versions means security vulnerabilities are likely to be patched up.
  • Use reliable antivirus software. Installing a reliable antivirus can help prevent data loss due to cyberattacks.
  • Be cautious when opening email attachments. Don’t open suspicious emails or attachments because they may contain viruses or malware.