Recently while preparing to add some new products and services to our line up, I was reviewing sales reports from the last year. I found it rather interesting which computer problems cost our customers the most money. What was even more interesting, is that they were all problems that are easily preventable.
Coming in at the number one most costly computer problem of the year, was malware. Just among our local customers, viruses and other malware caused thousands of dollars in damage. Malware is becoming more and more prevalent, but can mostly be avoided with a few simple steps. I’m continually surprised that after someone spends $75 to have a virus removed, that they will not spend a little bit extra in order to purchase a good anti-virus program to prevent future infections. I won’t spend too much time on this subject though since we have already covered it pretty thoroughly in our guide to How to Avoid Malware.
The number two most costly problem from last year was general computer slowness. We performed hundreds of tune-ups in order get computers back in good working order. Although a good professional cleaning is necessary from time to time, most of the problems that we address during a tune-up can be avoided altogether with some very basic routine maintenance. Again, this has already been covered in a previous article titled “How to Breathe New Life into an Old Computer.”
Lucky number three in our lineup was hard drive failure. While there isn’t much that can be done to prevent hard drive failure, there are ways to lessen the pain when it happens. It has been said that there are two types of hard drives in this world, those that have already failed, and those that are going to. One of the most important things that you should be doing is making regular backups. Businesses should also be making regular full system backups. There are many services that make regular backups easy and painless. Our favorite is Carbonite, and we will soon be rolling out our own white-label backup solution. How you backup your data isn’t near as important as the fact that it gets done.
The last of the top four costliest problems often rears its ugly head at the same time as number three: data recovery. Data recovery can be extremely costly and should never be necessary. Again, BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP! If we took into account all the people who chose to not get data recovery because of the cost, this problem would probably be at number one. Don’t put yourself in the position of having to choose whether to loose years of valuable family pictures, or pay $2000-$3000 for a laboratory data recovery. Sometimes, even the pros can’t get everything back. Remember, data that isn’t backed up is data that you don’t care about.