Data Loss: Causes, Effects & Prevention Methods

causes of data loss

You may be the victim of your important data loss at any time. Hence, you must know about the causes of data loss and how to prevent it. But before that, you must know what is data loss.


Data loss is the phenomenon or situation of losing important files or information stored in computer memory, cloud storage, or hard drive. It may occur due to the fault of the operator or the fault of the machine.


The causes of data loss are harmful software or files, power failure, computer theft, etc. And the effects of data loss can be an interruption in the business, waste of time, loss of sensitive resources, etc.


Let’s explore a detail guide on causes, effects, and prevention of data loss.


Types of Data Loss


There are various types of data loss. Such as:


Physical Damage


One of the most common types of data loss is the physical damage to the machine that contains the data. For example, a CD ROM is a storage media.
It’s a very sensitive data storage medium where a little dust particle may cause damage. Any kind of Mishaps such as fire or flood causes physical damage to data storage devices or mediums.


Logical Damage


This type of data loss is inevitable but quite unpredictable. No hard drive will stay in good condition forever. As a man-made component, parts of a hard drive can eventually get damaged over time.

Nowadays hard drives are made to last for a very long time. But unexpected crashes may still occur due to various reasons that cannot be predicted.


Failure of OS


The operating system (OS) is the software that operates everything in your computer. If for any reason OS crashes or fails, this can be another type of data loss.


Because here you won’t be able to recover your data unless the data is stored in cloud storage or in a different drive in your hard disk where the OS was not installed. So, if the operating system fails, it is still possible to recover data.


Read More: How To Increase Hard Disk Drive Health?


Malware and Viruses


In this type of data loss, your data will get corrupted due to a malware attack or virus attack. If you install unlicensed software, it may increase the risk of data loss because such software contains viruses in the crack file.


To prevent this type of data loss, you can simply install and use anti-virus software, for example, Windows Defender which is a built-in anti-virus protector for your Windows-operated computer.


Deleting Data Accidentally


If the user accidentally deletes the data or overwrites the data with another one, here even data loss may occur. Nowadays every storage system has a recycle bin where the deleted data are kept. So, if this type of data loss occurs, it can easily be recovered from the trash bin or the recycle bin.


Common Causes of Data Loss


If you wish to know what are the causes of digital data loss, you will find the answer below:


Human Error


Humans are bound to make mistakes and this is one of the most common causes of data loss. A user can accidentally delete an important file that may contain important data.
You can also forget to save a file after editing the data in the file and this way the data can get lost. To prevent this, the operator needs to be more skilled and focused.


Harmful Software or File


Harmful software or file is one of the most common causes of data loss on a computer. If your computer contains cracked or unlicensed software, then there is a high risk of data loss.
Because these kinds of software contain harmful files or viruses that destroy many important data and may even corrupt the whole operating system.


Power Failure


One of the general causes of data loss is the power failure of the data storage system or the computer. If the computer is directly connected to the building power source and if load shedding occurs, it will cause power failure. To avoid such mishaps, it is better to have a backup power source, for example, UPS, IPS, or generator.


Computer Theft


If there is no proper security, laptop or computer theft will surely occur on your work premises. And if this happens, you will lose valuable data and information that you have stored in your laptop memory or hard disk.

This is why not only it is important to increase the security but also it is better to keep important data in cloud storage.


Damage by Liquid


Spillage of liquid such as water or coffee dropped on the computer is one of the most common causes of data loss in computers. When liquid spills on the computer, it causes a short circuit and destroys the processing system of the computer. It also destroys the storage and so all the important data gets lost.


Hard Drive Formatting


There are many formats of hard drives such as exFAT, NTFS, HFS+, APFS, etc. as a user if you do not back up your data and change your hard drive from one format to another, you will lose all the data that you had stored in the previous format.


So, before reformatting, you should always back up your data in another hard drive or cloud storage. Also, remember that you cannot use the NTFS data in the APFS format. So, you have to back up your data accordingly.


Insiders and Hackers


If your data is targeted by hackers, they can easily steal, remove, replace, or corrupt the data if you do not encrypt the data with tight security.
Someone who has direct access to your data can also do the above things without your consent. So, you have to be careful in this case to save your data from getting lost.
So far, these are the 7 greatest causes of data loss that you may withstand.


Effects of Data Loss on a Business


Data loss is a major interruption between the day-to-day functionalities of a business. It not only disrupts the functions of a business but also wastes a lot of time. Because you need to spend a lot of additional time recovering the lost resources.


Moreover recreating those resources is time-consuming that hampers your business. On the other hand, the recovered copies are always hard copies that are not up-to-date.
The extent of data loss is hard to determine. You need to spend a lot of money for retrieving those data.


The effects of data loss on a business cause losing the trust and belief of the valuable customers. Because their personal information may be stolen.
This type of incident creates a negative impression on the business company. So, regaining the trust of the customer becomes difficult.


How to Overcome Data Loss?


Some effective tips about how to overcome data loss are detailed here.


Save In Your Hard Drive


You should immediately stop using your device when you find out that you have faced data loss. Otherwise, the chances of overwriting your hard drive become high.
Never try to follow any tutorial or DIY to recover your data. It will not only increase the risk of permanent data loss but also decrease the chances of recovering the data.


Find Out the Reason for Data Loss


Finding out the exact cause of data loss is essential for choosing the right recovery system. To find out the reason, think about whether you have recently changed your IT system or not.


Question yourself: have you faced any suspicious data access?


Also, the extreme weather or any construction work near your building can be responsible for your data loss.


Deciding the Data Recovery Method


Once you have found out the reason behind your data loss, it is time to recover your data. One great method of retrieving data is restoring the lost data from the backup.


In case you don’t have a backup, a disk recovery method can be attempted. For that, you should take help from an expert. The Data Recovery Station offers this kind of service by professionals and specialists.


If environmental factors cause the data loss, you should contact the recovery specialist. They will provide you with the appropriate service
After data recovery, your device becomes vulnerable. So, you should increase the security of the device with the help of an expert. Another lesson is you should always backup your data.

How to Prevent Data Loss in a Company?


If you want to know how to prevent data loss in a company, then you should follow the steps below.


Train Your Team


Train your employees so that they can identify the potential vulnerabilities and overcome those problems. Teach them how to protect equipment from power surges and environmental factors.


Specify Access Levels


With the help of professionals, you can limit the access level of your company’s sensitive data. At the time of hiring the employees of your company, must sign the security agreement. Unauthorized employees cannot access your data.


Work With IT Security Experts


To ensure the maximum security of your company’s data, it is recommended to get help from IT security experts. They will use the best method for securing the data of your company.
Have a “No Food or Drink” Policy


Eating food or drinking water or coffee near sensitive data equipment may cause data loss. For that, you should establish a “No food or Drink” policy near the data equipment. You can give Coffee breaks to your employees to prevent this.


How to Prevent Data Loss in Computer?


Following are some main points on how to prevent data loss in computers.


Data Backup

Data backup is a smart way of handling data loss. You can make several copies of your important data on the computer. These copies can be made in the cloud or on the physical server.


Using Firewall and Antivirus Software


Virus and malware steal sensitive data from your computer which leads to greater data loss. To prevent this, you must install Firewall and Antivirus software on your computer. It will give you complete security.


Keeping Your Computer Dust-Free


You should always keep your computer dust free. Otherwise, it will overheat and the hardware will be damaged. If so, the chances of data loss will increase


How to Prevent Mobile Data Loss?


The steps of how to prevent mobile data loss are described here.


Performing Regular Updates


Performing system updates regularly reduces the chances of data loss. Moreover, it saves the mobile phone from other security threats. Developing the mobile policy plays an important role in preventing data loss.


Developing Privacy Policy


Without the security policy, anyone can access the data and cause harm to the device. A data classification policy is very important for saving sensitive data. Also, complex passwords, App usage limitations, and multi-factor authentication work greatly against data loss.


Data Encryption


Data encryption is a smart way of preventing data loss on the mobile phone. When your phone is stolen or lost, it will save your data. The unauthorized user cannot access the encrypted data.


Data wiping


The EMM solution can remotely wipe out the data from a stolen or lost device. The professionals can perform this action.




Once the causes of data loss are identified, you can easily find out the methods of recovering those data. Specialists always recommend following the security rules while using the device or storing data of any organization. So, it is wise to follow those rules to prevent data loss.


In this guide, all the causes, effects, and prevention methods of data loss have been described thoroughly. If you have any further inquiries, comment down below.


Read More: 10 Best Data Recovery Software, Comparison, Pros And Cons

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