How Can You Protect Your Files from Data Corruption?
Data corruption is the stuff of nightmares for graphic designers and creative teams that send and store large files. Creatives are usually the ones who need to store huge data on their hard drives and cannot just easily get rid of old files as they mostly compose of templates, assets, proposals, studies, and portfolio projects.
Before we identify the ways we can protect our files from data corruption, what are the reasons for data becoming unreadable? Some of the causes of data corruption include:
- cosmic rays damaging computer chips, processors, and software
- files not saved properly
- power cuts
- hard drive failures
- bad RAM
- programs or hardware not shut down correctly
- improper ejection of storage devices
- hard rebooting
There is also what we call silent data corruption, which happens when data becomes unreadable due to background radiation or age-related defects.
Now that we know the causes, it will be easier to identify the necessary steps to protect our files and prevent data corruption. Creative Bloq tells us some of the ways:
One of the easiest things you can do is to make sure your computer and storage devices are regularly scanned for virus threats. Many operating systems now have built-in antivirus defenses such as firewalls. There is also a lot of reliable antivirus software that can be downloaded and installed for free. Also remember to constantly update your antivirus software as there will always be new viruses developed every day and it’s important that your antivirus software can recognize and block all of them.
Aside from checking and cleaning your hard disk of malware, you should also perform regular health checks and defragmentation. Windows has a built-in disk checker that scans your hard disk for bad sectors that may cause harm on your files.
Despite being one of the most obvious tips to prevent losing data, many are still lazy to back up their files. They may think that saving the same files in different places is a waste of space, but having extra copies of your files is a sure way that you won’t lose anything. Of course, to be practical, you only need to back-up the most important files. Just make sure that when you have updated a data, you also update all the other versions in other hard disks, external drives, and in the cloud.
Power Up with UPS
To prevent sudden power outages to immediately and incorrectly shut down your program or hardware, use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) which acts as a supplier of stored energy in event of sudden power cuts.
Encrypt Only When Needed
Encryption is ideal because it adds extra security especially to files with confidential data. But instead of encrypting the entire disk, it is best to just encrypt the most important files. As much as encrypting is effective, recovery is also as hard when your disk crashes.
Alas, data corruption is inevitable as there may be other unexpected reasons that your files suddenly become unreadable. But taking these five easy steps is a start, and they are sure ways that you will always have a contingency plan. Here at MicroCreatives, each workspace has its own UPS and a shared drive that does not only serve as back up, but also serves as a shared folder where our designers, animators, copywriters, and developers can easily access common files.