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GWS is not your mother. We can't hang around in the room, look over your shoulder and nag you until you do this most important of tasks. All we can do is tell you why saving your work, your software and your records is absolutely necessary to your success.

First thing to consider is what does it mean to back up data? The terminology attributed to personal computer usage is always slight askew. Backup can mean to go in reverse. Backup -in this case- refers to copying data so that it may be used in case the original data is lost. One would think that it would be just as easy to just say "copy" data instead. Therein lies the rub. "Copy" is a PC term for a keyboard/menu function. PC lexicon is confusing enough. You only need to understand that it's important to save your files, licenses, address book, content, sales statistics, etc. At some point, you will need a backup.

The second thing to consider is how will you save your important data? Take into account that so very much can go wrong on your hard drive, on your central machine. While it may ease your efforts to make special folders on your desktop and file all your data in them, those types of copies are not really backups. If you get a virus on your main computer and have to format (erase) your hard drive to cure it, everything you have on file will be lost. What can you afford to lose forever?

A real backup will be one that is self-contained and independent of your PC. The easiest and most common way to backup files and software is on CD. If you have a CD R/W drive, you can save huge amounts of data to relatively inexpensive disks. CD R/W drives are very affordable and you can even get an external one that plugs right in the back of your comp. There are other types of "recordable media" such as those for 1.45 MB drives, Zip Drives, and mini disk drives. Some are expensive. Others are too small in their storage capabilities to be of much use. Whatever recordable media you use, it's wise to spend the extra money for high quality. Save all the software and data to a disk/medium you can access if something goes awry on your machine.

Think about what you as a Gambling webmaster have on your PC that you will need. Think about software you've got installed that you use each day to build your empire. Do you have backups of these? Will the restore CD (provided by the retail chain when you bought your name brand comp) restore everything you need? You may have original installation disks for your software but have you made backup copies of those? What if your email program goes haywire? Will you be able to open your address book? Will you sacrifice all those confirmation emails from your sponsors to the god of "I was going to"?

All those referrer Ids, pay out tables and email receipts for purchases of Gambling traffic are the accountings of your business. Whether your meeting is with a tax form or an IRS auditor, you need to have proof of your records. If you use paid content, do you have all your licenses backed up? If you downloaded content, did make a copy of it? When tax time comes and your sponsor didn't send you a 1099, will you be able to just use your backed-up sales records as proof of your income? Those instant messenger conversations you had where you made a verbal contract with someone, what happens to that history if you upgrade to a newer IM program?

When you make backup copies of your files and software, you are insuring yourself against harm, hardship and expense. You save money and time because you won't have to re-purchase or reconstruct. You save yourself stress because no matter how bad the computer crisis, your hard work will be safe. Backups save your data and they just might save your future.




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