Computers simplify our lives in many ways. But if something happens to our computer files are they gone forever? How preplanning and software can help.

Most American homes have at least one computer in use. And likewise, a good portion of our lives are stored on our computers. Important data, such as family photos, letters, financial budgets, digital copies of wills, deeds, birth certificates, social security cards, marriage licenses, and more are saved to our computer’s hard drive for safekeeping.
Unfortunately, file corruption, the accidental deletion of hard drives, and catastrophic events such as theft, fire, or flood are possible computer disasters that can occur to all computer brands. Knowing how to retrieve deleted and corrupt files as well as back up your important digital documents is essential for businesses and individuals.

File corruption

While some of our documents can be tediously rescanned and uploaded, much of our computer data is irreplaceable. If you’ve become the victim of file corruption, due to a bug or defect, you may automatically panic. Bugs can be a one-time, temporary glitch or they can be the result of a malicious virus or foreign software. Temporary glitches usually fix themselves quickly, but infected software needs immediate attention because you cannot access infected files until you have repaired them.

Data recovery software can retrieve corrupt and deleted files

There may be times when you’ve accidentally deleted one or several important files and you may think you have no way to retrieve them. However, there are several reasonably priced software programs available online. In most cases, for under $100, a good data recovery software program can retrieve corrupt data and/or enable you to undelete files even when they’ve been removed from your computer’s trash bin.

Backing up your computer files

Backing up our files is tedious and many of us don’t think about taking this important step until the need arises. Many people who use a backup system won’t know how well it’s functioning until they need to use it. Your first defense is to back your files up to an external device like a flash drive or external hard drive, CD’s or DVD’s, but it requires diligence and should be done often. Unfortunately, external devices are useless if you’ve experienced a catastrophic event like a fire, flood, or even theft.

Remote online backup services

Using a remote online backup service is an excellent way to ensure the safekeeping of computer files and data. Many of us already use online backup systems without even thinking about it. Photo backup sites are great ways to store and share our photos easily and safely. There are many online backup services available on the internet and the cost is quite minimal.

Some services, like Photobucket, are even free. Your files are backed up at regularly scheduled intervals, usually daily, and at night when the computer is not in use. Files are collected, compressed, encrypted, and transferred to the remote backup servers. The customer doesn’t need to do anything, the entire process is performed by the service provider.

Prevention and solutions are available

Most individuals and businesses rely heavily on computers and computer files to make daily life efficient and organized. Leaving our valuable computer data vulnerable and unprotected is unnecessarily risky, especially when there are many preventative measures we can take. But if something happens to our files it’s also good to know there are solutions available.