Everyone needs them, most don’t have them.
I see it so very often working in IT. A customer has a PC or laptop that stops working so they have the IT person look at it. Identify that the HDD has failed so the only option is data recovery or restore from backup. Data recovery costs normally start at $1000 but rarely does it stop there. Depending on the severity you should expect data recovery costs to be in the $2000 – $5000 mark and that is to attempt recovery there is no guraantee data will be recovered.
How could you have saved this headache? BACKUPS!
Keep everything in more than one place.
There is no excuse, for computers, there’s an external drive and windows backup is free. There are many other backup software solutions too.
Your flash drives and external drives aren’t safe either, they commonly fail. Keep the data on these devices on your PC also or again have another external drive that contains a copy of all this data.
Google Drive or Dropbox are suitable locations to store copies of your data. If you use Dropbox for example as your main file store ensure you have them backed up to your computer also. No online service is infallible so don’t rely on them solely to keep your data safe.
My personal experience with loosing data was this website. I was making changes to the database in the backend one day and accidentally deleted the wrong database. Lost almost everything.
I was lucky however that I had an old backup of the site minus a few posts so I was able to restore it to working order. I even managed to retrieve the content from the lost posts by visiting the Way Back Machine.
Now I’m sure to have scripted backups of all the data for the site and have it transferred to a computer elsewhere periodically.
Never underestimate the importance of backups. It will save you time, money and heartache. The only person who says they don’t need a backup is kidding themselves.