Computer hard disks store your information magnetically and if that process is damaged, or the disk suffers electrical or physical damage then your data could be lost.
I see cases every week where the client’s hard disk is not working. In some cases the disk has to be sent to a lab to rebuild the disk to retrieve the data and this can cost 500€ or more.
A simple backup system that is automatically activated at a day and time of your choosing can prevent this kind of loss which may be devastating.
Different operating systems have different ways of dealing with backups but being in control of such measures will ensure peace of mind.
A true backup is not just copying your documents to another disk, it should be of the ‘image’ type of backup where the whole disk can be backed up in 20 minutes or so. This can be incremental where newer files are backed up to an existing backup. That way you can go back to a backup and retrieve for a given day.
Cloud backup which involves copying your files to a web based storage space can be good especially if you need to access that from other locations..
Restoring a backup can be done quickly and get you back to where you before the problem arose even to a new hard drive. For cloud backup options check out my favorite service here: http://www.livedrive.com/?product=pro&a_aid=583d3a26346de&a_bid=e504a144