Improving Awareness of Data Recovery

By: James Walsh

Case 1: A student works very hard and prepares his thesis. The hard disk of his computer in the hostel contains four years of research. On the day before the submission of the paper, the hard disk crashes due to some hardware problems. He realises that all his work is gone, and frustrated, he leaves the course altogether.

Case 2: A student in the similar position loses his research. However, he had saved the main paper in a USB drive. The research material and the references are all gone, but at least, he can complete his PhD.

Case 3: Another student has saved his work online. So he is not able to submit his thesis the next day, but has most of his material with him, even if he is delayed by a couple of days.

Case 4: This student hands over his computer to a data recovery company. He gets a discounted package, and in four days time, within a comfortably manageable budget, he has his computer back with him.
Among these four imaginary characters, the last student had fared the best - only because he knew of this mysterious thing called data recovery.

How can the Industry Improve Awareness?

The responsibility of spreading awareness about its products lies directly with the data recovery industry. It also lies with the government, but there is not much to be done officially to make people aware of the services rendered by private groups. The industry itself must adopt an aggressive policy of advertising to get its message across. Apart from making their web sites more attractive and user-friendly, the industry needs to float an 'information' section for not just the customer, but any surfer who is curious and wishes to know about data recovery. The companies also take to promoting themselves through blogs and social networking, which has to be done carefully. Once again, a terribly technical blogspot, written by a friendly geek, will not endear the company to the customer.

There are several e-journals which are now beginning to write somewhat readable articles. Since their existence is dependent on the readers, they have shown more prudence in handling technical terminology. Data recovery companies must try to tie up with such magazines, not only to float banners and pop-ups, but also to be recommended by the people who write for these magazines.

Better still they should try to float something like a newsletter themselves, which may be forwarded to their already existing customers, who have benefited from their services. If the content is attractive enough, these customers will be encouraged to forward it to their friends, thereby spreading the word. No one likes blatant blogs like 'I love ABC Data Recovery Company because they have done magical things to bring my dying PC back to life'. One might as well add 'and they are paying me to tell you this'. The average surfer is tired of typical ads by now, and would appreciate only what seems substantial.

Finally, there are print and television ads and data recovery companies have done very little in this regard so far.

Objections to Using Data Recovery and Counterpoints

There is a shrinking section that still has problems putting forth their data to a company. The usual objections raised are as follows:

1)They will steal the data, since they will have open access to it.
2)They may use important data for commercial purpose themselves. For example, if the data recoverers steal the company customer database that they just recovered, the company will be hit very badly by enraged customers suddenly bombarded with spam.
3)They may charge very high.
4)They may sell the database to a rival group.
5)They may fail to recover the data and damage it further.

There are counter arguments to all these:

1)If you choose a good company based on recommendation, they will not be thieves.
2)Most good companies are willing to enter into agreements that they will not keep any sensitive data recovered.
3)Pricing depends on the depth of the problem. Do your market research; there are people who have very reasonable pricing too.
4)Once again, an agreement can be drawn up.
5)You have failed to recover the data yourself. If the company is really very good, and the data still cannot be recovered, you might as well prepare to face life without it.

Data recovery is undeniably a useful tool in today's life, and we all need to know about it.

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