Everyone needs to have their files backed up. It is very easy to have your flash drive, hard drive, or computer crash, get damaged, or have your flash drive or laptop get lost or stolen. And it always happens at the worst possible time.
There are many different ways to backup your files. You can use an external hard drive, backup to a flash drive, or backup your files to the cloud. I use a mixture of both.
1. External Hard Drive - an external hard drive is a great way to back up your files locally. This proves very useful if your computer goes down and you have no internet. Many of them come with software build in to set up automatic backups and Windows and Mac have automatic backup apps. You can even make an image of your hard drive so that you don't have to reinstall software if you need to start from scratch.
2. Flash Drive - a flash drive can also be used for backup, but they are more expensive than hard drives for similar storage capacities. I do use a flash drive as a backup at school of my main files.
3. Cloud based backup - this is my favorite way to backup my files because it is automatic, free, and I can sync my files to multiple computers which means I have access to them locally. They also allow me to access my files from any computer, or even smartphone, via the web (and smartphone apps).There are many different ones available. They all have some sort of free plan and many allow you to get extra free memory through referrals. Here are a few of my favorites:
There are other services like Dropbox and Sugarsync too.