One of the most important things you can do as a computer owner is to back up your data.  Everyone knows that, right?  Actually - wrong!  There are a huge number of people out there that do not realise how important this is.  The crazy thing is, of the people that do realise, there are a huge number that still don't do it!

What people fail to realise is that they are relying on a mechanical, electrical device to store all of their important work, photos, emails etc. and that device could fail at any time.  Nowadays, hard disks are relatively robust and tend to last quite well, but the fact remains - they could fail any time.  Your hard disk could last 5 minutes or 50 years.  It won't necessarily just die and not be usable at all, but it can develop bad sectors which mean that some or all of the files may become unusable.  It can also die completely though, leaving you with no chance to recover any of your data.

You might be thinking, why would anyone take that risk? Well, the fact is, on some operating systems it's just not that easy to back up your data.  On the Mac, however, this is simply not the case.  No one has an excuse for not backing up their Mac.  There is an excellent backup system integrated into the Mac OS.  All you have to do is buy yourself a USB hard disk, plug it into your Mac and it will ask you immediately if you want to use this as your Time Machine Backup Drive.  Answer "Yes" and it will set everything up for you and start backing up!

Time Machine

The amazing thing about Time Machine is that it backs up absolutely everything on your Mac, not just your data.  It actually means that if anything ever happened to your Mac's hard disk, you could have it changed for a new one and then tell Time Machine to restore everything to exactly the way it was before you hard disk failed.  This is an amazing time saver and also makes the process of recovering your Mac very simple.

Backing up your Mac couldn't be easier. I just can't emphasise strongly enough the importance of doing so.  Don't wait until something goes wrong, because it will probably already be too late!