2. Schedule Automatic Hard-Drive Backups, Locally and Remotely
Backing up your critical files is as exciting as purchasing home insurance, but just as important, too. Don't risk losing your irreplaceable digital photos by making empty promises to yourself to burn a couple of DVDs every few months. Instead, set up software and services to do the job for you while you concentrate on more-exciting projects. First, save yourself from an "OMG my hard drive crashed!" catastrophe [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/148765/save_your_data_with_one_of_these_top_backup_programs.html|with a top backup program|Save Your Data With One of These Top Backup Programs]]. Or get started now with a free copy of [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,23166-order,1-page,1-c,alldownloads/description.html|SyncBackSE|SyncBackSE]], and schedule regular backup jobs to your external FireWire drive, thumb drive, or network drive. (If you have FTP-server access, SyncBack can back up to that as well.)
Of course, local backup isn't enough. To protect your data against fire, lightning, theft, or other disasters, you want to back up your data to a remote server over the Internet. Both [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/127477/geektech_supereasy_online_backups.html|Carbonite|Carbonite]] and [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/blogs/larkin_on_the_web/145356/mozy_delivers_solid_online_backup.html|Mozy Home|Mozy Home]] offer affordable unlimited server space and utilities that quietly back up your data in the background while you work.