Recently we noticed a several contacts and their contributions were missing from our database. These contacts and contributions were not manually deleted. The contacts are not in trash (I believe civi does not allow contacts with contributions to be permanently deleted. The contributions would need to be deleted first).
I suspect that the data was overwritten. Can anyone advise:
(1) What change to the server or database could allow data to be overwritten? I am the site admin, not the sys admin (we are on shared server). Would an upgrade be a likely cause? Or would I need to ask the sysadmin about an actual move from one server to another?
(2) Is there a best practices for recovering data? I think the best approach would be to pinpoint the date the data was lost, export contacts and contributions that are in the backup but not the current version, and import to current version. But I am open to suggestions.
(3) Does anyone have suggestions on how to catch this kind of issue?