I cannot stress enough just how important it is to back up your data. Believe it or not, it has happened to me at least twice. I had a 320GB external hard drive fail on me about two years ago. Luckily, most of the data on there was backed up onto my computer, so I was able to go on as if nothing happened. I also had it happen to a USB Flash Drive.
In fact, if you can afford to do it, then you might want to have a look at implementing the “3-2-1” backup method. The 3 means that you should have 3 backups(that’s 3 copies of your data, but why 3 backups? Well, here is the reason. let’s say if one of your backups were to fail, then at least you have two copies of your data.
The 2 means that you should have 2 of these copies of your data saved on different types of storage, so that means you could use something like an external hard drive and store some of the other data on something like a USB flash drive or a Blu-Ray disk. It’s up to you as to which media you choose to store your data on.
Last but not least, the 1 in the 3-2-1 method. The 1 means that you should back your data up to somewhere off-site. This can be done in two ways. If you have an external hard drive, what you can do is back up your data to an external hard drive and send it to someone who you can trust. Alternatively, you can go for an online backup solution and you have many to choose from. I would recommend having a look at DropBox, Carbonite, SpiderOak or I-Drive.
I know that implementing this strategy could be expensive, but backing up using this strategy is really worth it.