Protecting your data with proper backup procedures is something that is often overlooked.
Consistent backups allow you to retrieve your data in the case of a system failure, or a user mistake. If your hard disk crashes, for example, this may be the only option that you have to get your data. Additionally, if there is a "user error" that destroys, or significantly changes your data, restoring from a backup is one option to get back operating. In this case, data entered after the backup was made will have to be re-entered, but that may be much less costly than entering the data needed to correct the error.
Proper backups also allows you to go back to a previous point in time if you need to. As an example, if a question arises on where the data stood at the end of the last quarter, a quarterly backup can be restored and analyzed. This data is usually to a location different than the "live" data, so it does not affect your ongoing operation.
Determining what is a proper schedule is different for everyone. A rotating daily backup is the most common. However, there is a strong case to be made for additional weekly, monthly, and quarterly backups. Call us if you need assistance determining what the best backup strategy is for your situation.
Periodically moving a backup off site is something that is often overlooked. In the case of fire in particular, your diligent backing up of your data does you no good, if the tapes burn up with the computer.
Finally, make sure that your backups are verified. There is nothing worse than needing a backup, only to find that the tape is blank.