You are fetching values from DB and not sure if they have a null value in them.
If you directly access them without checking for a null compiler would throw an exception

Suppose r is your data reader object and you are assigning phone no. from DB to a string variable
It can easily be checked for null like this

var phone = string.empty;
If (r["phone"]!=null)
phone = r["phone"].ToString();

Another simpler way of doing this in .Net Framework 4.0 and up is

var phone = r["phone"].ToString() ?? string.empty;

It simply means if r[“phone”] is null return empty string without throwing an exception

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