We work with data, we live with data and we rely on data, we take as given that our data will always be there, when we need it. Text, images and videos are sometimes beloved memories, sometimes they are essential for our economic success. We use anti virus software to protect our data, but we often ignore the fact that the most likely reasons for data loss are not coming from the outside, but are always existing in our own computer: The most devastating loss of data is simply caused by hardware failure. And that your hardware will fail is (from an statistical point of view) for sure. The faster hard-drives become the higher is the load on the pieces inside which are becoming smaller and smaller, and while mechanical parts in cars are relatively massive and covered in oil a hard drive does not have this kind of protection and cannot be easily maintained. So its not a surprise that this devices, with parts which spin a few thousand times per minute will let you down, if only you use them long enough. And if they do they will take all your data with them.
The risk of losing data can be reduced, by getting new hardware early, but still there remains a significant risk, especially when the hardware is stressed in extreme ways, as it is normal for laptops, if you carry them around while they are not completely switched off. Of course you also can manually create backups to external devices every few days, but this will only enable you to restore the data of the latest backup and if you are working a lot with your data you will not only loose a lot of time for creating the backup but you also will loose the last days of work.
Much more secure are solutions which do continuous backups to external media or even online.
The advantage of online backups is on the one hand that the device, which keeps the data, cannot be lost or damaged and that the source and the backup are physically separated. Also an interesting option comes into play, since you can easily and securely access the data which is stored online from every computer anywhere in the world if you only have internet access. http://smartwebsiteideas.com/
Things to consider:
At first its really important that the transfers are encrypted while you create the backup and also when you wish to access the data later, otherwise you never can be sure that your private data stays private. Bad enough that most people still think, that emails are a private form of communication. And second the solution or tool you use should be able to keep file versions, so data which is overwritten often is still existing in previous versions. And finally the processes should be automatic and in the background, so the level of data security is not depending on when the user did trigger your last backup, since this can be forgotten easily at the end of a stressful day.
Two solutions which provide all this are for example CloudOnlineBackup.com and PowerFolder.com. While Cloud Online Backup is more for home users which need a fast cost efficient and easy backup, PowerFolder is more for companies, which want to become independent and wish to add sharing and sync features without a centralized server structure, or with an own in-house online cloud storage.