In many of the previous articles we described ways to back up data in order to avoid data loss. However, while many computer users take appropriate steps to back up their data, very few take the time to verify their backups. This step may seem irrelevant but in many cases it is the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major catastrophe.
Backup problems are related to data corruption such as accidental file edits and other events that can cause logical data loss. If you do NOT monitor the edits of every important file on your system or storage device, you might not notice this data loss. When you try to rebuild from a backup, you unfortunately discover an inadequate copy of the data.
In cases where an automatic backup program or system is in use, you may also be backing up these inadequate copies of your data. File corruption and other errors can prevent normal file access, leaving you without your most important files.
An easy way to avoid these issues is to occasionally upload your backups and check your files manually. With this method you can be sure that at a crucial time you material is available. Check your most important files, open them properly and verify that backups are up to date.
Many businesses run failure tests, in which system administrators must completely recreate a specific system from backups. Large businesses also invest in archival backup systems to keep daily or weekly database backups, email archives and other important systems. These archival systems limit disaster recovery costs greatly and allow businesses to create system restore points. These restore points are critically important in cases where system administrators do not immediately notice data loss. However, these backups also need to be tested regularly.
In short, consistently backup and periodically tests in order to avoid critical data loss.