Replacing the user would be probably not an option.
Educating the user would be hopefully the obvious thing that has already been tried. (rewards for not boinking the data?)
Modifying the user's permissions would be a bit more complicated.
Creating custom layouts for that user would be even more complicated.
The problem, as I see it, is that mistakenly entering find criteria while in Browse mode is exactly the same set of operations that editing a record takes.
Two "fixes" come to mind:
1) Limit finds to a scripted find where the user clicks find to bring up a search form of global fields. The users enters criteria in the global fields and then clicks a button to perform a script that uses the criteria in the global fields to construct find criteria and perform the find. This makes the task of searching the database obviously different from that of editing the data and that can help reduce this error.
For examples of such scripted finds: Scripted Find Examples
2) Set up an "edit mode" button or check box field. The user clicks that check box or field to open the record for editing. Set up validation rules on your fields that reject all input unless an "edit" field has a specific value set--the value set by clicking the check box or button. Do not allow the user to enter Or set up a separate layout where Browse Mode data entry is permitted and then have the button or check box click change layouts to this "edit" layout.
This second option also makes the data entry and record search tasks more obviously different.
And finally, make sure that you have a system in place that creates and keeps regular back up copies of your data. If all else fails, you may be able to open a back up copy of your database and import the original version of a record into the current copy in order to restore the data.
I suppose learning by bitter experience is the best way!!
Only problem, it has happened that the user didn't realize the mistake. Saw the Find didn't work so the hit Find and did the search correctly. Database remains corrupted until somewhere down the line a contact with the wrong name appears in a mailing or whatever!!
Anyway, thanks for responding.
I responded, obviously, to DavidAnders first.
PhilModJunk response needs thinking about. This is a fairly rare event so I think - backup is the way to go. When we go live we will do nightly Cloud backup.
Thks for your response.