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We show you how to keep your digital data out of harm's way...

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By  Cleona Godinho Published  October 14, 2007

Can you remember the last time you backed up critical files on your PC? Two years ago, when your pal called up crying when that horrid blue screen of death killed her 40-page English project? We thought so. Now if you're saying to yourself, "My computer won't crash; it's been working fine for so many years," think about it like this. You buckle up every single day even though you don't expect your car to crash everyday. Data backup is essentially about protecting your data's future, but with computers, it isn't if it crashes, it's when it crashes.

In today's high-tech world of sneaky spyware and venomous viruses, you are in more danger of data loss than ever before.

Like tires on your vehicle, the electronic circuits your rig rides on will eventually wear down. Now when this occurs, you can either grieve at your loss, pay hundreds of hard-earned dollars to try and salvage your data, or you can simply restore your data with data backup software.

The choice is yours.

What matters

Now you're probably telling yourself, "Heck, I don't have anything important data to back up". Well, stop for a moment and think again. Still can't think of anything? OK, let's go through a few scenarios to help you.

Let us begin with your favourite websites and that never-ending list of bookmarks. Do you really want to lose these? What about the 101 e-mail addresses of all your friends and colleagues? That would take a long time to collect those again. What about that massive research project you've been working on? Or all your beloved wedding and birthday snaps?

These are just some instances and we are certain that after pondering for a while you will come up with a long list of things you really can't afford to lose. In a nutshell, anything you can't replace easily or at all should be on the top of your list.

What you should backup

• Digital photos

• Software and music you bought and downloaded from the internet

• Personal projects such as home videos or research projects

• E-mail address book

• Microsoft Outlook calendar

• Browser bookmarks.

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