Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Ontrack Data Recovery provides vital tips to protect your data during volatile summer weather

Computer Damage and Data Loss from Lightning Strikes Cost the US Nearly $2 Billion in Annual Economic Loss, According to the National Lightning Safety Institute

MINNEAPOLISJune 15, 2004 – It's summer, which means hot, humid weather, lazy days trying to stay cool and plenty of sunshine. Unfortunately, summer also means thunderstorms with heavy rain and lightning (at least 100,000 strikes/year across the US, according to expert meteorologist Walter Denman) that can seriously damage your computer or entire network. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that computer damage and data loss from lightning strikes cost the US nearly $2 billion/year, according to the National Lightning Safety Institute. This means data loss that can affect emails, pictures, financial statements, invoices and other critical information and documents. To help computer users protect themselves against these weather-related disasters, Ontrack Data Recovery, the largest, most experienced and technologically advanced provider of data recovery products and services worldwide, offers several tips that can keep your data out of harm’s way.

“Computer damage from severe weather conditions is surprisingly a very common problem,” said Jim Reinert, sr. director of Software and Services for Ontrack Data Recovery. “By safeguarding your computer with power protection devices, the chances of experiencing data loss are significantly decreased. However, if you do encounter problems, users should contact a knowledgeable data recovery company that has experience recovering data from computers damaged by every type of natural disaster. Even if your drive appears visibly damaged or completely dead, you should always try data recovery. ”

When power problems strike, they can cause permanent damage – either to your equipment or your data. The only effective way to deal with these problems is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some steps you can take to greatly reduce the chances of power problems that can cause data loss:

  • Install a surge protector between the power socket and the computer's power cable – and spend the extra $20-$30 to get an actual surge protector, not just a power strip. Some brands offer guaranteed lightning protection, even on their lower-priced models.
  • Small businesses with networks should get surge protectors that offer protection from surges through network cables.
  • Check protection devices regularly: At least once a year you should inspect your power protection devices to make sure that they are functioning properly. Most good ones will have a signaling light to tell you when they are protecting your equipment properly.
  • Use dedicated circuits, if possible: Putting the computer on its own power circuit, so it isn't sharing the power with your air conditioner, space heater, and vacuum cleaner, greatly improves the power quality and insulates the PC from power sags when these devices are turned on.
  • Turn off and disconnect the power cord during an electrical storm: This is a simple precaution that protects your system from possible problems during a thunderstorm.
  • Turn off power during a blackout: If you lose power, when the power comes back on the signal can initially be inconsistent, which can make things more difficult for your power supply.
  • High voltages can enter your computer through the phone line connected to the modem. To protect your computer during electrical storms, unplug the telephone line from the modem jack or use a telephone line surge suppressor.
  • Businesses with network servers should invest in some form of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), which uses batteries to keep servers running during power outages.
  • Summer heat can also be a significant problem. Keep your computer in a cool, dry area to prevent overheating.

About Ontrack Data Recovery
Ontrack Data Recovery (www.ontrack.com) is the largest, most experienced and technologically advanced provider of data recovery products and services worldwide. Ontrack is able to recover lost or corrupted data from all operating systems and types of storage devices through its do-it-yourself, remote and in-lab capabilities, using its hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques. Ontrack Data Recovery is a brand name of Kroll Ontrack Inc., which operates as the Technology Services Group of Kroll Inc. (NASDAQ: KROL).