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Data loss prevention tips:

* Keep your computers and servers in safe and secure locations from accidentally getting knocked over, dropped, or spilled on. Laptops, while convenient to use, are often dropped and require hard drive data recovery. Just because it is a nice day and you are casually working by the pool with your laptop, don’t assume that the guy jumping into the pool realizes his tidal splash will not only soak you…but ruin your laptop and require hard drive recovery for your critical data.

* Beware of diagnostic programs. While it is a good idea to check the health of your computer running diagnostics software, be careful with allowing such programs to repair data files it may find. Check Disk can be your friend, but also may make it more difficult to recover data from a hard drive which has had such diagnostic programs run on it.

* Never upgrade any system without a verified backup

* Use up-to-date hardware and software utilities for data security, such as firewalls and virus protection

* Scan all incoming data for viruses, including packaged software

* Use ventilation, fans and/or air conditioning to keep servers at the proper operating temperature

* Connect systems to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to protect against power surges

* Power down and take extreme caution when moving computers

* Avoid static discharge when touching or handling the media, especially in excessively dry environments

* Never shake or remove the covers on hard drives or tapes. Please don’t disassemble your hard drive. In nearly all examples of this, data is usually not recoverable once an inexperienced person attempts to ‘investigate’ where that ‘strange clicking noise’ is coming from. Leave the diagnostics to a data recovery specialist who has experience with all types of hard drives and knows how to perform a successful data recovery.

* Quit your programs before shutting down your computer. When you quit a program, it saves vital data and then exits the program. If you just turn off your computer without properly exiting your applications and closing your files, you run the risk of loosing your data.

* Use power surge protectors. A power surge, either from the power company or a lightning storm, is one of the most common occurrences that can damage your data and potentially cause a hard drive failure.

* Run some sort of Anti-Virus Program. Viruses get into your computer a variety of ways; by reading an infected attachment in your e-mail, by sharing files (which are already infected), and by visiting websites that take advantage of security flaws to compromise and destroy your data.

Data Backup tips:

* The first backup you make is arguably the most important because it serves as the baseline for all subsequent backups.

* Invest in redundant backup systems

* Establish a structured backup procedure to make copies of all critical data files, using software compatible with the operating system and applications

* Periodically test the backups to verify that data, especially databases and other critical files, are being backed up properly

* Keep at least one verified copy of critical data offsite, for the best protection against data loss, especially from catastrophic events, having at least three (3) backups of your data is recommended.

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