How precious to you is the data in your computer?
If the thought of losing all the photos, videos, and documents in your computer makes you break out in a cold sweat, then read on.
Backing up your data is something we know we should do, but most of us are procrastinators. We'll do it tomorrow. But what if your hard drive fails tonight? Reliable as computers usually are, they can and do fail.
Nowadays, backups are easier than ever. Large-capacity external hard drives usually come with backup software prepackaged that allows you to set up a backup schedule and then forget about it. USB sticks, or thumb drives, are a reasonable solution if you don't have huge numbers of files. Copying files to DVD disks is an option. It's better to have one backup than none at all, but should a catastrophic event affect your home (fire, tornado, etc) you could lose it all, because both the PC and the backup are under the same roof.
That's the beauty of an online backup solution.
When your data is copied to computers "in the cloud" (on the internet), your files are safe from loss, as the data is no longer in your home. Most companies that offer online backup service have their own system of back as well, so in the event their computers crash, your data is safe in a 3rd location.
Personally, I use the Carbonite service. They have plans at various prices - I use the $99 option. This gives you unlimited space on their computers to store your stuff. It includes software that monitors all your important folders and files, and automatically backs them up to Carbonite's computers via the internet.
Before you balk at the cost, let me ask you one question: if your computer died today, and you realized that all your precious memories and important documents were now gone forever, would you pay $99 to get them back?