Let’s start by assuming that everyone out there does backups on a regular basis. We all know that isn’t true, but it is a dream that needs to be in place for this article. If you aren’t backing up, using one of the products mentioned here is a great way for you to start.

Whenever we are working with a bad hard drive and tell someone that their music collection, important documents or irreplaceable digital photos are gone we feel like a doctor saying that we have to amputate.

Hard drives (the place where all of your stuff is stored) fail. They crash. It is a fact of life. It is a matter of when, not if. If you are backing up the stuff you want to keep you should start right away.

Backups can be as simple as copying them to another computer over your network or making a copy onto a USB drive. Don’t make a common mistake in thinking that you can remove the original file(s) once you make a backup. A backup is one or more copies of the original data.

Another important factor in backups is that they should be automatic. Unless you posses the discipline that few of us do, you aren’t going to run them on a regular basis. Your backup solution should run in the background and alert you when there is a problem.

You should also periodically do some test restorations and verify you are backing up what is important. You don’t want to find out after a hard drive crash that you forgot to include your photos or that the drive you have used forever is bad as well.

Without a doubt, make sure your backup plan includes an off-site approach. Even if you backup your entire computer to an external hard drive on a regular basis, what if the worst happens and both are stolen? Or if there is a fire or flood? An off-site backup will cover you in these situations.

Check out our Cloud Backup service to help backup your important data.