Few things that are done each day are as important as backing up critical data. Unfortunately, backups often aren't given much thought until they are needed. Over the years we have seen a number of mistakes that have been made regarding backups. Here are the four most common.
1. Not Doing Them. People might be surprised how often this happens and often times it's simply because someone forgot. Always make sure someone is responsible for performing the daily backups and make sure it is getting done. This has been made easier with services like Carbonite. Backups can also be scheduled on any PC within the administration section and set to run on a schedule that works best for your specific schedule.
2. Not Verifying That The Backup Works. Jump drives and external disk drives are reliable, but they should still be verified for a successful copy of the data. If a service like Carbonite is being used, then chances are that the backup worked. However, it's never a bad idea to take a minute and check for critical files. A little time is worth a large amount of insurance.
3. Not Taking The Backups Offsite. Years ago, one of our clients had been diligently backing up their data, but left the backups on the desk beside the computer. One night, the building burned along with EVERY backup of the company's data. The client lost their inventory files and accounting records. If you're backing up on site with an external device, then make sure to either take it off-site or place that copy into a fire/water proof container. Again, we encourage our clients to use a service like Carbonite since it can backup in "real time" and is off-site.
4. Not Having A Secondary Copy. People make mistakes. We've heard stories of operators accidentally deleting data instead of copying it. Having a secondary copy prevents major issues and an extra external drive is very cheap insurance. Always have more than one copy of your critical data.