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Almost all tapes and diskettes, and in a few rare cases, even disks can be write protected, to protect data on them from being changed. Once an archive is written, you should write protect the media to prevent the archive from being accidentally overwritten or deleted. (This will protect the archive from being changed with a tape or floppy drive--it will not protect it from magnet fields or other physical hazards.)
The write protection device itself is usually an integral part of the physical media, and can be a two position (write enabled/write disabled) switch, a notch which can be popped out or covered, a ring which can be removed from the center of a tape reel, or some other changeable feature.
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