If you are using QuickBooks in a networked environment, it is imperative that you check to ensure that your QuickBooks data is being backed up on a regular basis. Don't leave this critical step to chance or to guesswork. Remember - you can always get another copy of QuickBooks software. Getting another copy of your QuickBooks data that you have worked so long and hard on to create - that's another story.
During a recent visit to a clients' location, we discovered that NEITHER their automated backup to an external hard drive NOR their online backup software had been properly set to create a backup copy of their QuickBooks data. Needless to say, we immediately created one so they at least had a spare at that time and then took proactive steps to fix that problem going forward.
If you don't feel comfortable in taking the steps needed to get your backup set and configured properly, be sure to get in touch with a reputable IT service provider that can set the backup processes up correctly. In addition, have them explain to you how to monitor things to ensure the backup is working as it is supposed to each evening. Monitoring doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming, but it is an essential part of your daily routine. If your IT provider says "it's covered, don't worry about it", then ask them to retrieve a backup copy of your QuickBooks file and show it to you to ensure it is being properly backed up.
The two keys to an effective backup strategy are to automate it and ensure the data is stored off-site. In most cases, an online backup service helps you meet both of those goals.
For my online backup service, I use Mozy. It is easy to use and very easy on the budget as well. Mozy recently signed on their millionth customer and was also voted #1 in backup and recovery by Small Business Computing Magazine.