The findings of our third quarterly Data Loss Index (DLI) unequivocally showed that undetectable drives were the leading cause of data loss and account for a whopping 25% of all instances of data loss.
Our DLI collects information from across the globe to keep up to speed with data loss trends. This last quarter we received data from 2,226 data loss reports from 43 different countries, all logged via our data recovery self-assessment tool.
Causes of data loss (historical)
Drop it like it’s hot
Overall, we saw consistency in the results. For the UK, France and Germany, the dropping of devices was amongst the top three reasons, alongside liquid damage (UK), deleted files (Germany) and not powering on (France).
Top causes of data loss by country
Undetected? It happens
An undetected drive happens when the storage disk seems to disappear from a device. It won’t load, it doesn’t appear in the manage devices manager, you can’t search for the drive or the content on it, it may even cause the screen to go blank.
What causes an undetected drive
Let’s take an external hard drive as an example. It is plugged into a laptop or computer and won’t load. The issue may be with the USB port you have plugged it into or perhaps the wire between the disk and the computer. It may be that the disk has been subjected to some heavy-handedness or not been ejected (using the safe to remove device button) properly. It could also have been a power surge or even a virus that has caused the problem.
Knowing the possible causes doesn’t remove the risk, but it can help to prevent data loss before it happens. As well as being careful when handling your device, make sure you always use the safe to remove device button and install (and keep up to date) good anti-virus software.
↑ mobility = ↑ risk
We are a society of mobile device users so it comes as no surprise that data loss is more frequent in these types of devices. 70% of lost data takes place on mobile devices, especially laptops and external hard drives.
As you might have observed from the Top causes of data loss by country graph, ‘dropped device’ was consistently among the top ranking causes in many cases.
It is, obviously, the very nature of their mobility that exposes them to higher chances of facing data loss situations, such as being dropped.
Conversely, tape data storage, which typically isn’t moved about as much, is the type of storage device least susceptible to data loss with only 2% of instances occurring on this data storage medium.
Do’s and don’ts if you’ve lost data
Computers fail, accidents happen, smartphones get dropped in drinks and tablets get smashed, and sometimes the device may look like it is a complete write-off.
If this does happen, don’t delay – follow these simple steps to minimise the risk of permanent data loss.