In my 20+ years of having a computer as my best friend, I've learned how important it is too back stuff up.
Back in College I had one nasty virus that wiped out everything on my hard drive. I had just upgraded the hard drive and was in the process of over-writing the old hard drive (since everything worked I figured I didn't need the data anymore) when the virus wiped out everything on both. Ugh. Never again.
Since then I have never had a virus. Ever. I practice safe computing. Much like safe sex. I don't open attachments. I don't click on "weird" links. I don't fill out forms on questionable sites. Of course I have enough knowledge to know what a "weird" link is....eh.
In addition to safe computing I back up.
When I was a kid, my parents took photos with a film camera. The pictures were inserted in these HUGE photo albums and the negatives went....somewhere. The photos were safe from virus...but fire/flood/natural disaster could still destroy them.
Today I (like most) take digital photos. I can't remember the last time I printed out a "real" photo. Maybe when I mailed photos to my dad. Eh.
Digital photos can be wiped out by viruses....or an Operating System "glitch" (Apple had a nasty "glitch" which deleted random data recently!).....or a failed hard drive....or by accidentally deleting them. To protect against this I back up. Big time.
Every time I transfer photos to ANY computer a process starts. Within a few hours of being transfered to a computer, each photo ends up being existing in 4 different places:
1. On the original computer
2. In a shared folder on my Home Server
3. In a backup file on my Home Server
4. In a secured location at Carbonite.com
The last one is new. Hard drives are mechanical devices that will eventually fail. I have lost quite a few hard drives over the years. My Home Server has multiple hard drives inside. All my important data is duplicated on each hard drive. Even if one fails....the data is still on the others. But what if the house burns down, we are robbed, Kelli goes crazy a destroys my man cave.....really bad stuff. Hence Carbonite.
Carbonite is a service which backs up data from a single computer for a few dollars a month. Once installed there is nothing for the user to do. Everything happens in the background.
The initial backup took a few days. Now everything just seeps across the Internet in an encrypted format. It's a horrible feeling knowing an important digital photo/file is gone forever. Been there.....got drunk over it....never going to happen again.