Whether you realize it or not, you have a lot of digital data. From pictures to downloaded music, work or school projects, financial documents, and more, just about every part of your life is documented with a spreadsheet, word document, PDF, or some type of digital file.
This information may be necessary for personal or professional purposes or help you remember an experience or person, and these files matter. Losing these files can be devastating on many levels, but that does not have to happen. You can take steps to protect your information and keep your digital life secure.
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Examples of Sensitive Data
So much of our lives are online, and you may not even realize how much of your personal information is digitally documented. When selecting files to add to a data backup, it is crucial to include everything you need and could not easily replace if it were to become lost or compromised. Some of the files you may want to backup include:
- Text messages
- Music files
- Address book
- Financial forms and statements
Ways Information Can Be Lost
There are several ways your digital files may be lost or damaged. When you understand how information can be compromised, you can better understand how to protect your information. Losing digital files can have serious consequences, so taking preventative steps can prevent the unthinkable and keep your information safe.
Accidents can take so many forms, especially when it comes to digital data. The more you handle or work in your digital files, the more opportunity for things to go wrong. It is easy to accidentally erase or overwrite a file, especially when multitasking and doing several things at once or when distracted.
Spilled beverages can severely damage a laptop or computer, as can fires, leaking roofs, or accidentally leaving your device by an open window right before a rainstorm. The threats are out there, and you may think you would never make such a silly mistake, but it happens all the time. Sometimes devices can be repaired, or a professional may be able to extract information, but that may not always be the case. Accident-proofing your data by backing it up is typically the best course of action.
Wear and Tear
All devices wear out with age. Given enough time and enough use, your computer will become outdated and not perform as quickly and efficiently as it once did. Hard drives, in particular, have a lot of moving parts which means these components are especially susceptible to age-related stress and damage. Storing important information solely on a device, especially an older device, may be setting you up for the loss of data.
It makes sense that an old computer will eventually wear out, but there is nothing worse than a newer laptop or device being taken out of commission. Power failures can be bad news for electronics. We all know that we should plug our computers and laptops into surge protectors, and many power cables for electronics include built-in protection. Despite these safeguards, things can still go wrong. A power failure can cause a computer to abruptly shut down before files are saved, causing work to be lost. In more severe cases, a power failure can damage a device and render it useless. Protecting your data in anticipation of the unexpected can ensure you keep all of your files.
Viruses and malware are severe threats, and about 37% of global organizations report being victims of ransomware attacks during 2021. There are so many sophisticated threats out there, and these dangers continue to escalate with time. Hackers may want to take your information to hold it for ransom or to steal your identity. Depending on the specific virus, your device may be rendered useless once infected.
Theft can take many forms. Someone can break into your home or maybe take items while you are in a public space and distracted. Whenever a thief ends up with your gear, the stakes are high. Being out of the device is highly disappointing, especially given how expensive laptops and smartphones can be. At the same time, the loss of data can compound the situation. A stolen device can ultimately be replaced, but often, data is irreplaceable. Depending on the nature of the stolen files, you may be at risk for identity fraud.
Protect Against the Unexpected
There are so many ways your data can be lost, from outdated gear, accidental damage or deletion, theft, or malware, and more. Many of these instances are unavoidable, but you can do your best to protect against these various threats. One of the best things you can do is take a proactive approach and secure your data.
Protecting your information using a data backup will ensure that you still have your digital files, so if and when the unthinkable happens, you at least still have your important information in a safe location.