In FAT file systems there are four file or folder attributes that can be modified. These are:
R - Read-only
H - Hidden
S - System
A - Archive
These attributes can be set using the attrib command or by right clicking the file in Windows explorer and changing the properties. If the file is set to Archive and the system is backed-up using incremental backups (i.e. only files that have been created or modified) then the back-up program will look for the archive flag to be on before taking a copy of the file.
The NTFS file structure has the same attributes but it has a lot more security features. Each file and folder is owned by the creator and the creator can set access and security rights to the file to limit who is able to access it and what they can do to it. A user can be give read, write, modify, execute or full control rights to the file or folder. You can also remove all access to the file.