Keeping reliable backups is an integral part of data management. Regular backups protect against the risk of damage or loss due to hardware failure, software or media faults, viruses or hacking, power failure, or even human errors. It is recommended that you have three backup copies (original, external but local to your institution, and external at a remote location). Check the integrity of your backed-up files using checksum validation. Create a backup schedule, use reliable backup meduim AND test out your backup system by testing file restores. The UK Data Archive provides additional guidelines on data storage, back-up, and security.
File Formats for Long Term Access
Don't Forget the Documentation
Ownership and Privacy