When it comes to your home computer, chances are that your system of backing up data is pretty laid back. At the office, you usually have some sort of system in place that reminds you to back up your files, or a grumpy IT guy who will scold you if you don’t. At home, it’s a whole different ballgame. While most of us know better than to believe that our home computer will never crash, we still procrastinate when it comes to backing up our data. Believing that we can do it tomorrow, or this weekend, is a dangerous risk to take. A computer crash is far from the only reason you may lose your files. A virus, accidental keystroke, theft, or a natural disaster are some of the others. It is important to always keep in mind that anything you would be devastated to lose – think family photos and videos, the Great American Novel you’ve been working on, or last year’s tax return – should never be saved in just one location. Some other things that need to be backed up on a regular basis include: music, e-mail, application settings, and bookmarks. Each individual will have certain other files or data that they place great value on that need to be backed up, as well. It’s best to back up your data every day but you have to decide how often you realistically will do the job. As far as methods for backing up the data on your home computer, the most popular ones include CDs or DVD-ROMs, online data storage such as the Cloud, flash drives, or external hard drives. While each of these methods has their own set of pros and cons, each one will work well. While most people are careful to make sure their computer’s antivirus software is up-to-date, backing up your data is just as important. That’s because backup and recovery tools will take care of your files if your antivirus software fails. In the case of a virus, roll back to the last successful backup and you are ready to reinstall. Antivirus software may protect your computer from viruses but if your computer’s hard drive fails you can use your back up software to reinstall your system, applications, and files to a new computer. What about theft? Your computer may be gone but with your files backed up you can simply download them to a new computer. Chances are you aren’t foolish enough to believe that your data is never at risk. So why would you be foolish enough to put off backing up your data until it’s too late?