If there's one piece of advice the tech savvy have been espousing for years and years, it's this: Back up your data. A power surge, faulty hard drive platter, robbery or other unexpected system failure could happen when you least expect it, and if your data isn't backed up you'll beat yourself up over it for weeks. Years ago, backing up data was an arduous task. Hard drive storage was costly, but floppy disks only held a paltry amount of data. Eventually, ZIP disks and CD burners offered enough space to facilitate backups, and DVDs and cheap hard drives made them easier still. But now we have something even better: the cloud.
Cloud storage solutions come in all shapes and sizes. Dropbox offers only a couple gigabytes of free storage, but its interface is incredibly simple to use. It creates a folder on your hard drive that's linked to the Web -- all you have to do to upload files is drag them into the folder. WindowsLiveSkydrive is designed to make it easy to view and edit Office documents in the cloud. Amazon's Cloud Drive offers 5 gigabytes of free storage and a Web interface for uploading your files. Other services, like SugarSync and Mozy, focus more on automatically backing up your important data and storing it, rather than making it easily accessible online.
Here's the smartest way to backup your data: Don't rely on one service. Store files you access frequently in Dropbox and back up more in a free service like Amazon Cloud Drive. Keep a local backup on a secondary hard drive or on an automated backup drive like Apple'sTimeCapsule. With your data securely backed up and your passwords uncrackable, there's only one thing left to be concerned about: your browsing habits.