Tips to recover files

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Losing important files from your computer or storage device can be stressful and frustrating. It can be so easily done, and just clicking the wrong button can often lead to a full-blown data crisis.

If you find yourself in need of a file recovery service, here are some tips to remember:

  • first of all, stop using the storage device immediately when you find out that you have lost your important files. This could be your computer hard drive, USB stick, SD card or anything else. Continuing to use it could overwrite your data, and then the files may become irretrievable;
  • if you have simply deleted a file by accident, restoration is often quite simple. You may need nothing more than to run some specialist software. Find some software, then run it as instructed to find out if any files are retrievable. You may be able to use a free trial to find out how many files you can recover before actually buying the software;
  • if the storage device is damaged, you may need more specialist help. Many companies provide recovery services, so find a company with experience in this field that has successfully recovered files in the past and follow their instructions, which may involve sending your storage device to them;
  • alternatively, if you have lost files that were stored online, you may require a cloud recovery specialist instead. Some recovery providers offer this alongside standard file recovery.

Of course, backing up your files regularly in the first place is the best option to avoid the need to rely on a specialist recovery service when something goes wrong. This could involve:

  • a physical backup in the shape of an external hard drive or even a USB storage device. This is often possible for independent workers who can store all of their important files in one place;
  • a more extensive on-site backup facility for companies that cannot fit all of their data onto a hard drive;
  • a cloud-based backup service, where the files are stored securely off-site and can then be recovered when required.

Whatever type of backup you arrange, always make sure that your data is stored securely, especially when sensitive data is concerned. Secure storing of personal data is especially important to ensure you are compliant with the Data Protection Act.

If your data is very important, you may also consider backing it up both offline and online for extra peace of mind.

However you choose to back up your files, make sure you have a disaster recovery plan in place so you know what to do the moment a crisis occurs. This could include:

  • choosing a recovery specialist in advance who you can call on immediately when you realise that important files have gone missing. You may choose the company by analysing its reputation, experience and the various types of recovery it offers;
  • a plan for the worst case scenario that you have in place and test on a regular basis. Even if you back up your files, you will want to know that you can recover them rapidly when needed, so this constant testing could prove essential for when the real crisis arises.

Finally, make sure you have good practices in place in your place of work to avoid files becoming lost in the first place. This often involves educating your employees on how to avoid data loss and only providing key members of staff with access to the backup facilities to reduce the chances of accidents occurring.

About the author

Jason Hulott is Director of SpeedieConsulting, the Finance and Insurance Content Specialists.  We specialise in Insurance Marketing online. Come and join our group over at Facebook Insurance Marketing Group.

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