Back up your data. Even the most casual IT user has heard this advice. And it’s great advice. If your data is stored in only one location, then a computer crash, building fire, or other damaging event could destroy your files. That, in turn, could cost you a lot of money and even put you in legal jeopardy, if you or your business is required by law to keep certain records available.
To prevent data loss, most of us use various forms of data storage, including hard drives (internal and external), optical discs (CDs and DVDs), solid-state drives (flash drives, etc.), and/or the cloud. But we shouldn’t just save it and forget it. Because, the reality is, no form of data storage is certain to last forever.
So, how long can data last in storage? That depends, as there are a number of ways you can lose data. The most common include:
The longer data is stored, the more likely it is to experience one or more of the above problems. That’s why, to ensure you never lose data, you have to remain proactive. For example, you should save data in a variety of locations and resave your data regularly to avoid problems associated with aging storage devices and technological obsolescence.
To learn more about the various methods of modern data storage, the risks to them, and the ways you can mitigate those risks, you can read our article “Why Long-Term Digital Records May Be at Risk”. If you want to help your organization put together a data storage strategy—and help with other issues involving IT maintenance and security—consider our BS in Information Technology program, which can equip you with the technical skills you need to succeed in the IT field while providing you with a strong understanding of key managerial and organizational concepts.