My love of the quiet life is legendary. Follow my guidance and your ears will remain unbent. Believe me, backing up is not hard to do.

This article appears in the May 07 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents.

We all know eating healthily and taking regular exercise is important, but it doesn't mean we make time for it. Similarly, backing up data is something most of us are aware we should do more often.

And shouldering the wrath of your nearest and dearest, should irreplaceable photos disappear along with your wonky hard drive, may well be detrimental to your health.

Enjoying a quiet life is what keeps me on top of my backups. With such cavernous accommodation provided by modern hard drives, it would be easy to forget backing up altogether – there's no longer the need to archive data to clear space.

As fast and reliable as hard drives have become, they are still mechanical devices occasionally prone to failure. And even the most generous warranty is poor consolation for the loss of important data.

It isn't just hard drive failure that threatens your data. Fire and theft are real threats. Recently, a man who had his PC stolen was so distraught at the loss of the family photos contained on its hard drive that he actually offered the thieves money for his PC's safe return.

A sensible approach is to store backups away from the office or home location. Should there be a fire, flood or theft, the backup copy is intact. Online storage is a good option, as data can be accessed from any PC with an internet connection.

And it's handy for people on the move, since this accessibility allows for greater flexibility.