Imagine for a second, your computer system just crashed and you may have just lost all of your precious data. Do you feel the emptiness in your stomach or the lump in your throat? Have you put off doing a backup of your PC for the last time or will you procrastinate again? You never know when disaster might strike and you will need to perform a system restore.

While you sit their reading this you should become aware of where you are backing up your data now and are you. Once you realize that your data is precious you should decide to protect it. Next, you might ask, “How?” and “Where do I backup my files?”.

Knowing where to backup your data is an important factor in this process. You will have so many choices but we will whittle them down. You have USB connections, Firewire connections, and even network connected storage to choose. You will come across storage sizes ranging from 20 GB to 750 GB. The point is you need to identify what YOU need. Don’t let anyone sell you anything you don’t need. Plan this out before you begin, it will save you some time and money in the long run.

You will want to figure out how much data requires backup. Will you be backing up your mp3’s, pictures, videos, or just work data? Which ever data is most important and that you have decided to backup you will need to look at how big it is. How many MB (mega bytes) does it take up on your hard drive?

You may be wondering how you can find out how much space all of your data is taking up. Well, for one, most people keep some type of folder structure. All you have to do is right click the folder of choice and click on properties. That gives you an idea of how much space the entire folder is taking up. You can keep a tally of all of your folders and it will give you an approximate amount of drive space you will need to backup your data.

Ok, this is pretty simple but you don’t want to go out and purchase a drive that is at the same size as your data you have just calculated. The reason for this is because more than likely your data is going to grow over time. The amount of growth is going to be determined by how often and how much you add to your collection of data. This growth will be different for every person depending on how they use their computer. The industry standard is about thirty percent growth per year for data in many businesses. That figure is just to give you an approximation to start looking at how much data storage you will need.

Getting a plan to start is one of the first things you need to do before you start backing up your data. You have to know what you want to back up and the location you will back it up to before you start. You never know when you will need to perform a system restore or a desktop restore so your storage will need to be reliable. You can go to any electronics store and find a large variety of Hard Drive storage. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is your data we are talking about.

Now that you have begun to get a foundation on backing up your data you will eventually need to learn how to perform backups and system restores. You will feel better now knowing that you have learned some of the steps necessary to protect yourself and your data from catastrophe. Take some action and start backing up your PC today.