It’s the last of the month, and also World Backup Day, so rather than start your work week of wishing it was the weekend, do your data a favour and make sure the things you love are backed up and easy to find.

One of the most important things you can possibly do, backing up is one of those things we tend to forget about, only to have something horrible happen later on and no recent backups available.

“It can be quite emotional if you lose your data,” said WD’s Simon Whitford to GadgetGuy recently in an interview on backing up and the lifespan of hard drives for the Naked Geeks podcast.

“You cannot go backwards in time,” said Whitford, adding that “a lot of people are creating and taking a lot of photos with their smartphones, and these aren’t getting backed up. It’s really a tragedy if they lose them.”

Unfortunately, any form of storage media can die, be it a hard drive, solid-state drive, or a form of flash memory. Even already written CDs and DVDs can fail, with culprits being scratches, marks, or a break down in the organic component beneath called “azo.”

That’s why it’s best to have your critical information backed up to several forms of media, such as an external drive and a cloud solution such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.net.

“Backing up is the most important thing you can do to your digital data today,” said Whitford. “It is your data and it has a lot of value to you, so it’s very important that you back it up.”

So consider this an alert that it’s time to backup, and when you’re home next, or with some free time, backup, and see if you can make a regular thing out of it.