What is a Data Backup and Why is It Necessary?Data backup is as important as the data you store on your system; if that holds valuableinformation critical to the daily operation of your business, then making a backup of it is alsocritical. Think about the customer information, supplier details, debtors & creditors, etc. stored onyour hard drive, and then imagine that one morning you can no longer find them.Backups are for your peace of mind, and to save you a lot of time and money if anythingterminal happens to your data files. Your data is fundamental to the operation of your business,and should be valued as an important asset.Any backup is basically copying your data files to disk or some other storage device, to providea working copy of your data ready to be restored if the original copy is lost, damaged, orcorrupted. This can can occur in a surprising number of ways - viruses, power failures, powerspikes (these may not even be noticed! ), system crashes, external events such as flood, fire, theft,or vandalism , or even a simple user error.A Sample Data Backup ProcedureHow often you make a data backup depends on how frequently the data changes, the valueyou place on the information, its importance to your business, and the cost of replacing orrecreating it. If you consider that your data file is too important to lose, or that it would becostly to replace, then you must backup regularly.If you open and update your data files every day, you should set aside a labeled disk/tape foreach day of the week and make a backup everday. The following week, when you next enterthe backup file name, you will be prompted to overwrite or append the previous weeks file. Ifyou overwrite, you will then be in a weekly cycle. If you are confident that you will always havespace on the media, you can append and have a two weekly cycle.If you feel your information doesnt alter that frequently, you can backup once a week androtate disks on that basis - Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, back to Week 1 again.The ultimate system is to keep buying new media, backing up daily and working on a very long(6 monthly or more) cycle. This is to ensure that there is always a clean backup if a fault goesunnoticed for any length of time, but it is really overkill for a small business.Dont Forget to Check That Your Data Backup Has Worked!Dont be misled into thinking that because you have run a backup that it has worked, there arenumerous horror stories of PC users suddenly needing to restore and only then finding out thattheir backup procedure has been routinely failing. You should regularly test the backup mediato confirm that the data has been successfully backing up.Dont put off learning how to recover files until disaster strikes. Practice to familiarize yourselfwith the process and make this a regular event, especially after any upgrades or changes.