Backing up your files simply means making a copy of them so that if the original is lost or damaged, you can use the copy. You can back up your hard disk to floppies, to a Zip disk, to a tape drive, CD-R or DVD-R drives, or to any other media like USB Flash Drives. If you have a network drive attached to your network, this is a good place to backup files as well.
How often you back up depends on how valuable your time is. If you're working on an important file, save it somewhere else as well as to your hard disk. If you're running a home-based business, you should invest in a reliable backup system and back up on a daily basis.
Alternatively, you could use a program like Microsoft's Synctoy to backup your important documents whenever you want.
The best backup strategy is to have a full image backup of your hard drive along with incremental backups. This way if you have a hard drive crash, you can restore the image backup and then each incremental backup in succession. The best commercially purchased programs I've found for making a true image backup of your hard drive are:
As an alterative, the program Macrium Reflect has a personal free edition that is one of the fastest disk imaging programs around.
All of these programs provide easy ways to backup directly to CD-RW or DVD-RW drives, as well as external drives or network hard drives. For incremental backups you can use CD-RW or DVD-RW disks or use the newer USB Flash Drives to backup data quickly. This is especially good for financial data like Quickbooks or MS Money or word processing files such as resumes, inventory lists, etc.
Unfortunately people dont realize the importance of backing up their computer data until they experience a hard drive failure and lose some precious data.
Dont wait! Backup your data today to avoid such problems!