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The process whereby copies of computer files are taken in order to allow recreation of the original, should the need arise. A backup is a spare copy of a file, file system, or other resource for use in the event of failure or loss of the original. The term is most commonly used to refer to a copy of all the files on a computer's disks which is made periodically and kept on magnetic tape or other removable medium (also called a 'dump').

This essential precaution is neglected by most new computer users until the first time they experience a crash or accidentally delete the only copy of the file they have been working on for the last six months.

Ideally the backup copies should be kept at a different site or in a fire safe. Although hardware may be insured against fire, the data on it is almost certainly neither insured nor easily replaced. Consequential loss policies to insure against data loss can be expensive, but are well worth considering.

*** The Information Security Glossary ***
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