Byte Me Article 431 – What Data?

Losing Data Can Be Avoided

This week has seen a mixed bag of work at the shop and many of my team away on sick leave.  I had a bout of the man flu myself which saw me take Wednesday off sick.  This is a rare occurrence and one that I am keen to forget as going down with the man flu and staying home while the house is full of bush fire smoke is something I can’t recommend – lets’ hope that some decent rain is not far away for everyone’s sake!

Every week we still see at least one new customer with a potential data loss situation.  In probably 9 out of 10 of these cases we can get 100% of all the data back, however this was not the case this week.  If you turn on a Microsoft feature call BitLocker without recording the detail properly then there is zero chance of getting your data back.  BitLocker was designed with Military strength data encryption to prevent sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.  It was well designed as even the owners of the data are shut out if they don’t have the proper key.

The other data loss case this week was from an external ‘backup’ hard drive that was used as the only vessel for the storage of important data.  The drive was dropped and had sustained damage to the extent that even specialised recovery services were not able to recover any worthwhile data.  The whole original idea of computers was to process data quickly and to be able to maintain a ‘backup’ copy of that data?  Why do people not take advantage of this?

Unfortunately, the answer to the above mostly lies with lack of user education and mis-understanding.  Most of our new customers still don’t realise the importance of having a backup copy of their important files.  They are so used to turning on their PC and simply clicking on a file to access it that somehow, they forget about all the technical & mechanical things that must flawlessly run in the background for this to happen.

In the 22 years that I have been in this industry I have seen a trend develop where the importance of backups are ignored – until a disaster strikes, and only then, after the horse has bolted, do they start to care and take notice.  The bottom line is – if you are not sure whether you have an adequate backup solution then STOP doing what you traditionally have and seek the assistance of an IT professional.

A proper backup solution can cost as little as $140 if you already have an external backup drive, or alternatively you should be able to take advantage of NBN speeds and access a cloud storage solution such as DropBox or OneDrive.  There are no excuses for losing important data – it only comes back to a lack of care or unfortunately – sometimes the wrong advice and it happens at all levels.  We recently saw an Australasian conglomerate lose all data from around 70% of their sites because their IT support company was not doing their job!

One of the questions that I always ask new customers when they are purchasing a new PC from us is “what do you use for a backup system”?  The reply has often been – I don’t have anything important to backup.  In the next sentence I ask if we can throw the old PC out and not transfer anything to the new PC.  Then I usually get a stunned look and they quickly tell me – “no, I will still need all of my files”. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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