In information technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

, a backup or the process of backing up is making copies of data
The term data refers to qualitative or quantitative attributes of a variable or set of variables. Data are typically the results of measurements and can be the basis of graphs, images, or observations of a set of variables. Data are often viewed as the lowest level of abstraction from which...

 which may be used to restore the original after a data loss
Data loss
Data loss is an error condition in information systems in which information is destroyed by failures or neglect in storage, transmission, or processing. Information systems implement backup and disaster recovery equipment and processes to prevent data loss or restore lost data.Data loss is...

 event. The verb form is back up in two words, whereas the noun is backup.

Backups have two distinct purposes. The primary purpose is to recover data after its loss, be it by data deletion or corruption
Data corruption
Data corruption refers to errors in computer data that occur during writing, reading, storage, transmission, or processing, which introduce unintended changes to the original data...

. Data loss is a very common experience of computer users.

Backup: The duplicate copy of crucial data that no one bothered to make, used only in the abstract.


Only wimps use tape backup: _real_ men just upload their important stuff on FTP|ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it ;)

Linus Torvalds

Back up my files?! Are you kidding? Is that a real thing you have to do? I always thought that that was just like... you know, a figure of speech.

"Strong Bad" of Homestar Runner

BANANA - Backups Are Not Archives, NOT ARCHIVES

Anderson McCammont, quoting someone else on the veritas-bu mailing list (3/27/2007).

I didn't lose my mind, I've got it backed up on cd somewhere.

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