Summer Storms Increase the Risk of Data Loss

Floods, high winds, power surges: they're all hazards of summer storm season. And while a storm can do plenty of damage to your physical environment, it's important to be aware of the havoc it can wreak on your data, too.

One power surge is all it could take to wipe out your hard drive—and everything you have stored on it. Electronics hate moisture (as anyone who's ever dropped a cell phone in a toilet can confirm), and they don't love a lot of heat, either. So this summer storm season, protect your computers and smartphones, and you'll protect your data, too. Here's how.

Use a surge protector. During a thunderstorm, a lightning strike, or in the period when power is restored after an outage, voltage can increase suddenly. Of course, you can always unplug your computer from the wall if you think a power surge is likely, but that only protects you from anticipated events.

Stay away from water. Keep your computer away from open windows (in case of sudden rainstorms) and up off the floor (in case of floods). If you must take your cellphone to the beach or pool, keep a plastic bag handy so that you can protect it from errant drips. And if your computer or phone does get wet, don't take a hairdryer to it. They tend to hate the heat as much as water. Which brings us to...

Stay away from heat. If a storm knocks your power out and you've got nothing to do as you sit in your sweltering, air-conditioning-free home, think twice before you open your laptop. Laptops run hot anyway, and you'll be giving its fan a workout it may not be able to handle.

Back it up. You can take common-sense measures to protect your equipment, but at the end of the day, you can't control the weather. If a summer storm does real damage to your home, you'll be glad that you backed up all your important documents and photos online with a service like Trend Micro™ SafeSync™. SafeSync keeps an online copy of your files and makes sure that any device you use to access them has the most up-to-date version. That way, if a summer storm wrecks your home computer while you're on vacation, your vacation won't be wrecked, too.

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