How to Avoid Data Loss and the Implications if it Happens

Data loss has potential to wreak havoc on an organization. For instance, take a look at what happens when the criminal element holds information for ransom from hospitals. Although not every business may see data loss as a life or death circumstance, the situation may become quite dire.

From the moment a developer commits to a web hosting platform, the need for safety and security is prevalent. This is especially true if the site is to hold vital and sensitive information.

Even the smallest of blogs can be greatly affected by data loss. Imagine if someone spent three years writing content only for the site to be completely wiped out. Not only will this cause financial distress for the site owner, but it’s also disheartening to realize all that hard work could be gone in a blink of an eye.

Here are several ways to avoid data loss and the problems that come with it. In most situations, all it takes is a bit of prevention to keep from losing all of that information.

Always Create Backups of the Site

Creating backups of the website should be one of the primary concerns for any owner. Whether it’s a blog about cats or a popular Commerce site selling consumer electronics, backups are vital. If news headlines have demonstrated anything about the security of the Internet it’s that anyone can be a target.

The criminal element isn’t the only thing that can cause data loss. In fact, a lot of the problems many people have with websites are caused by human error. For example, someone who doesn’t know a lot about coding can easily cause a great deal of damage to a site and its database. A backup recovery is the solution to those issues.

Luckily, there are an amazing number of ways to create these backups. Here are just a couple of methods that are common among site owners:

  • Using the free application FileZilla to copy all site files to a computer.
  • Installing plugins or modules for backups if the site uses WordPress, Joomla or Drupal.
  • Allowing the web host to create these backups automatically.

Keep Security and Anti-malware Updated

One of the biggest contributors to data loss is the lack of proper security. Websites are constantly under attack from hackers and bots. Once an exploit is found, the trouble begins. There is only so much that good web hosting can protect the site from, and it’s up to the owner to safeguard the information.

Keeping anti-malware and security software updated is a primary objective. This is true whether someone is using plugins through a content management system or maintaining their own VPS account.

Security software and plugins are not the only things that need updating, either. Any piece of outdated software that is used by the website could lead to compromising data.

Here’s a good example of old software. Using Joomla 1.5, which is incredibly outdated, can lead to spam bots taking control of the primary email address.

Never Assume the Security is Adequate

A lot of site owners experience data loss because they don’t believe the threat is that great. Even the strongest of security and anti-malware has potential to be thwarted. It’s the assumption that security is “good enough” is when problems start to appear.

For instance, a small blog owner may not consider the site to be of particular interest to hackers. On the contrary, it makes for a great location to set up a fake website to steal data from other people. A site like this can also be the target of a malicious individual who simply wants to see years worth of blog posts instantly deleted.

There is really no such thing as having enough security when it comes to protecting data.

Keep Data and Other Files Organized on the Server

Organization is key if anyone wants to prevent losing anything. From data to remote controls for the entertainment system, keeping an area organized can solve a lot of issues with losing things.

An example of this is how WordPress organizes images. Not only are they stored in a completely separate directory, but they are also organized by month and year. This makes finding specific graphics much easier. In reality, any data has potential to be organized for such easy access. This makes finding particular information a breeze instead of a chore.

Many website owners lose information not from being deleted, but because they don’t practice good organization skills. As more files accumulate over time, searching for particular data could be quite time-consuming.

A way to avoid all of this trouble is to sit down and come up with a strategy regarding how information is digitally stored on the server. Getting everyone on the same book and page to save this data will boost the efficiency of any business.

Use a Trusted Web Host Company

One aspect that some people neglect is using a trusted web host company. Not all providers have the best track record when it comes to storing data or recovering from a disaster. This is one of the reasons why website developers should research a company before building a website on its servers.

As mentioned above, a good provider will support backups of the site. However, one should also consider if the organization suffers downtime, hacks or inadequate resource use. Any one of these issues can result in losing data.

Bear in mind that just because one web host service is cheaper than the others, it doesn’t mean it’s the most efficient. Many cheap alternatives simply don’t have the tools available to keep data safe. In the end, the problems may wind up costing more to repair than if a better host was selected in the first place.

Losing Data Could Be Exceptionally Costly…

A good web hosting service can only do so much to protect data. The best way to avoid losing information is by taking steps to prevent issues from happening. Never assume the website is a pinnacle of safety and security. Even something as simple as accidentally deleting a database table could throw a wrench the efficiency of a business.

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