Don't Forget to Backup!
Why should you back up your data? Because your computer hard drive will die eventually - it is only a matter of time. To save yourself the time and pain of trying to recover lost data, be sure to backup your data regularly.
The 3-2-1 Rule
The guys over at DPBestFlow have succinctly defined some best practices for keeping your data and photos safe. It’s called the 3-2-1 Rule:
Have 3 copies of any important file (a primary and two backups)
Have the backups on at least 2 different media types (hard drive and optical media, for example)
1 copy should be stored off-site
So how do you set up a system of backing up your files to comply with the 3-2-1 system? Here are some services and methods that I
Jungle Disk (and other online backup services) - Provides automated, off-site backup. It does daily backups of all the files I decide to backup, plus it mounts an additional Windows drive that I can save files to “the cloud” directly. For this service, you pay per MB stored and per MB transferred. Other options are Carbonite (unlimited size backup for a one-time fee) and Mozy.
External Hard Drive - Every month I take a snapshot of my entire computer on my external hard drive. Use an encryption program like TrueCrypt to make sure your data is safe even if the external hard drive device is stolen.
Media Server - I have a custom-built desktop computer that automatically keeps my data mirrored on two hard drives, which protects against hard drive failure. You can do this in RAID, but I find it easier to use a tool that runs as a service in Windows - SyncBack.
Backupify - Although all the new cloud services are nice, we as consumers have no recourse if our accounts become inaccessible for some reason. This free service will automatically backup your data on Google (Mail, Contacts, Calendar), Twitter, Facebook (Facebook photos is a big one), Flicker, and much more.
Good luck backing up!