The five most common causes of data loss

Data loss can affect anyone and, as the information that businesses store is often vitally important to their day-to-day activities, it’s something that can have a substantial effect on both their financial and logistical performance.

Here, Fields Data Recovery list the five most common causes of data loss and a few tips on how to avoid them:

Human Error

Yes, the IT systems that we utilise in our businesses are becoming increasingly more complex, but it’s still good old-fashioned mistakes that are the most common cause of data loss.

Whether it’s accidentally deleting files, configuration errors or anything else, you cannot eradicate human error but you can go a long way towards reducing the likelihood of it affecting your business; with simple automation and regular backups, data loss can be resolved rapidly.


Malware and other viruses are – much like their biological namesakes – continuously being adapted to new environments and becoming more effective. For businesses, viruses can be particularly problematic as a single machine can pass an infection on to the entirety of any network it is connected to. To put it another way, one security breach can potentially take down your entire IT system, rendering your data inaccessible.

Installing anti-virus software and ensuring that it is regularly updated is vital here but don’t underestimate the importance of helping your employees to identify and report potential threats. Provide them with training to ensure they’re familiar with ways in which they could unwittingly install malicious software on their machines and they’ll play a vital role in protecting your network and the data stored on it.

Physical Faults

Hard drives use moving parts and are therefore prone to mechanical failures just like a car engine or washing machine. Seized motors and head crashes are just two prominent examples of physical faults that can result in hard drives losing data.

With a robust backup plan (ideally one that utilises one type of online media and another that is permanently offline) any data lost because of mechanical fault can be easily recovered.

Power Outages

Power outages will not only temporarily take down a businesses’ IT systems, they will also result in the loss of unsaved work and even lead to the corruption of existing files.

Again, the best means of protecting your company from data loss caused by power outages is a robust backup procedure.

Logical Failure

We’ve already discussed how mechanical failure can bring about data loss but problems with the software that is used by media to locate stored data can also cause problems.

Logical failure can affect a drive at any time and often without warning. By regularly backing up your company’s data, though, you can minimise the damage it causes.

If you’re business has been affected by data loss, you can book a free diagnostic and get a no-obligation data recovery quote from Fields Data Recovery.