Nearly every day in the computer repair industry, technicians see very unfortunate people lose important data due to failed hard drives, malicious programs, and sometimes, avoidable but honest mistakes. It can happen to anyone and likely has happened to nearly everyone at some point in their past. Recovering your data can be a nightmare, especially when it is a file that you use infrequently that you may not discover missing until it is finally needed!
Fortunately, with the cost of external hard drives cost is not really an issue anymore when it comes to making sure that your data is secure and backed up. These days, you can purchase a simple external drive from just about any box store, and even the Walmart’s of the world. External hard drives are not only great for keeping your data copied and safe but there are additional benefits to using them. Just think, by keeping a copy of your personal data on an external drive, it means you can take that drive anywhere you go and by plugging it into any computer you choose to, still have access to all your personal files, just like it was your own computer!
You might ask, what happens if my house burns down and both my computer and my external hard drive are lost? While this would be a terrible thing you can also prepare for this by using an offsite or cloud storage alternative to data backup. A great, and well known example of this is Carbonite. You simple pay their small fee and you can back up all your personal data to their secure servers, and in the case that you lose everything; simply get your hands on a new computer. You can simply download all your data back to the new machine.
For the average user I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to back up your personal data to protect from its loss. Pictures are hard to replace especially. If you are a small business owner I urge you to do both an external hard drive backup and make sure to have an offsite back up like Carbonite to protect yourself from serious downtime. In this day and age, having a backup is no longer an luxury, it is worth a few dollars to make sure that your data is safe.