Is your backup running?

Backups are critical to maintaining a healthy computer. The easiest way to set-up a backup is to utilize a cloud service, such as Carbonite, Backblaze, or Acronis True Image. Tom's Guide has reviews of various cloud backup services here. The monthly recurring costs of backing up to the cloud can be prohibitive, though, if you have a lot of data.

Alternatively, purchasing an external backup drive (such at the Western Digital My Passport or the Seagate Backup Plus Portable) and utilizing either your operating system's built-in backup software or a third-party solution like EaseUS Todo Backup (free option available, registration probably required), Acronis True Image (paid), Veeam Endpoint (free and probably the best, but have to register and probably fend off an account exec who wants to sell you their enterprise products).

"On-premise" solutions, like backing up to an external hard drive, are the fastest and cheapest options. However, in a catastrophic disaster the drive itself may be damaged. Having two backup drives, that are "rotated", with the second drive always off-site is strongly recommended.

"Cloud" solutions, are expensive and slow, especially when restoring a full system. Supplementing an "on-premise" solution with a "cloud" service is advisable if you're not utilizing the two drive regimen as noted above. In fact, having two independent backup regimens isn't a bad idea for that super-critical accounting software data, or even your irreplaceable family photos.

Regardless of whichever solution or combination of solutions that you choose, it's important to check your backup software regularly to ensure that it's backing up properly. It's also critical to perform test restores to verify that you are able to restore files as expected. Too often, I have seen situations where people have lost data and not been able to recover from backups because the software had failed in some fashion but the user did not realize it. Trust me, it's not a pleasant place to be.