I feel the need to add to this discussion based on the bizarre behavior I got out of backup assistant while I was abroad. (Why does it always mess with me when I'm paying by the MB?)
OK, keep in mind that, because I was using international data, I didn't want my phone using any data unnecessarily. So, in Settings>data usage, I'd hit the settings button again and checked the box for "Restrict background data." I had also unchecked "Auto sync data." My plan was pretty much to turn on data every now and then, sync my mail (and whatever else I wanted to sync), and then turn off data.
One day, while doing this, I kept getting an icon for an attempted (and failed) backup assistant backup. Specifically (when I'd pull down the icon to see what it was complaining about), backup assistant was trying to backup my contacts. This seemed odd as, under Settings>Accounts>Backup Assistant Plus, I had "Sync Contacts" unchecked. And, indeed, if I used that path to GO to Backup Assistant Plus, "Sync Contacts" was, in fact, unchecked. But when I pulled down the icon for the failed sync, it showed me a Backup Assistant settings screen where Sync Contacts not only was checked, but was greyed out so it could not be unchecked. Weird.
Recalling WalkaboutDavid's post from this thread, I cleared data from the Backup Assistant App, but no joy. The damn thing kept trying to backup my contacts. Eventually, the problem was solved by the (standard) solution of turning the phone off and on again.
Bottom line: no real harm. And it was probably some sort of fluke. But I do wonder where an app gets off trying to sync my contacts when: (1) I have specifically set it not to sync my contacts; and (2) I've specifically told it to restrict background data and NOT Auto Sync ANY data. Seriously, is Backup Assistant so powerful that it can OVERRIDE a "don't autosync anything" command? (One also wonders why Verizon would force such a POS app on its subscribers, and particularly why it thinks anyone with an Android phone would need its crappy app to backup contacts, seeing as google does this anyway.)
(I guess this is just another rant.)