My laptop is on the fritz. I am prepping myself for the day (probably soon) when I go to turn it on and it goes "poof". Now I know there is probably some sort of technical fix to retrieve all my personal and business information but frankly hunting down a laptop will take all the extra energy and time I have to spare. I really don't want to have to hunt down a way to get my files back. So I've begun the process of backing my files up, both on a hard copy and in the the cloud.
For my documents, I have chosen cloud based storage. Sites like Mozy or Dropbox offer a FREE 2GBs of storage for home use (business users will need to pay for the upgraded service). I can even get you an extra 256MB of space through Mozy if you sign up HERE. Both sites offer scheduled backup so even if you forget to add new files you've created, the site will remember to add it for you when it updates each night. I've chosen the cloud for documents because frankly we have too many pictures and my husband uses such a high resolution that we have about 10 times the amount of free storage in pictures alone (and Q is only 1!)
Many people still have questions about security when dealing with cloud based storage. When this question arises, I encourage my friends, clients and anyone reading this to keep any documents or personal data they do not feel comfortable uploading to the cloud on a hard copy backup like a thumb drive or CD. This is also the method we have chosen to back up our photographs since we can catalog them by month or event. I also recommend making at least 2 copies when you backup to a hard copy in case the CD breaks or you lose the thumb drive.
All in all, the piece of mind backing up the files on laptop before it dies cost me about 2 hours of my time and $15 in CD's. Well worth it to guarantee I don't lose the documents and photographs I love and rely on.