A data backup is the result of copying or archiving files and folders for the purpose of being able to restore them in case of data loss. Data loss can be caused by many things ranging from computer viruses to hardware failures to file corruption to fire, flood, or theft (etc). If you are responsible for business data, a loss may involve critical financial, customer, and company data. If the data is on a personal computer, you could lose financial data and other key files, pictures, music, etc that would be hard to replace.
In general, you should back up any work or data that can't be replaced easily. Some examples are word processing documents, spreadsheets, databases (for financial data), customer data, and personal files such as pictures, music files, emails, etc. As a rule of thumb, do not backup programs or system folders. Programs will need to be reinstalled before you can run them and system folders can be restored from your operating system install disc. Be sure to save program installation discs, operating system discs, and registration information in a safe place. If you have downloaded any of your applications, you should save the install files whenever possible.
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