We all rely on our computers - they provide our entertainment, they store our precious family photos, they hold our financials - and yet most people don't regularly back up their data*.
There's a number of options for your backups, and there are pro's and con's to each. Please feel free to contact me if I can assist at all.
I mention "catastrophic events" in the text below. Whilst people will commonly back up to an external hard drive or burn files to a CD, should something catastrophic happen, such as a burglary or house fire, you could lose the back up as well as the regular files. Whilst we don't like to think of things like this occurring, it's important that we need to consider it as a possibility that could happen.
Don't forget that no backup solution is "set and forget" - you should periodically check to ensure that the files that you need to have backed up, are getting backed up.
Cloud back up services, such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, and many others offer a quick and easy way to back up your files. They designate a folder on your computer, and will automatically upload all files within this folder to "the cloud". You are then able to simply log in with your account details on any computer or phone, and all of your files will be immediately accessible.
"The cloud" is simply a server (or more specifically multiple servers) owned by the company. For a monthly fee, you will be allowed a specific amount of space on their servers to use for your files.
Whilst cloud services are generally fairly secure, it's important that you protect yourself as much as possible by choosing a secure password, and enabling 2-factor authentication.
Although they sound similar, cloud backup services such as BackBlaze and Acronis True Image have a distinct difference versus cloud storage. Cloud storage services are designed for constant access and syncing across multiple devices. Cloud backup services are designed to only be accessed when you actually need them, and hence tend to be less convenient, but also cheaper.
Again, you should maintain security of your account.
USB drive / hard drive
An external backup drive connected to your computer can provide regular backups at fairly low cost. However, remember that these devices can still fail. Even worse, should one of those previously-mentioned "catastrophic events" happen, you've lost the original copy and the backup copy of your data. This can be avoided by keeping a backup of your backup off-site (e.g. with a trusted friend or family member), but then you have the disadvantage of data that is potentially weeks or months old.
With anything in IT, you need to assume that the worst will eventually happen and plan for it. For your backups, consider how important the data is to you, and what time, effort, or sentimental value will be lost if your data is lost. There's no "one size fits all" solution, so take some time to consider which option is best for you. Data recovery can cost thousands of dollars*, so it's best to avoid getting to this point if you can.
*I link to this page as an example of costs. If you need data recovery, Payam is very reputable in the industry and should be high in your list of consideration.
I will receive an affiliate commission if you use my link to BackBlaze.