NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – We all know that sinking feeling when your computer freezes up in the middle of an important project and you have to start over.

It’s even worse when your hard drive crashes or your lose your laptop.

So what is the best way to make sure your computer is backed up?

Backing up our computer files is one of the things we all know we should do, but few of us do it often enough or, in some cases, at all. In fact, more than half of Americans never back up their computers or do it just once a year, according to a recent survey by a cloud company called Backblaze.

Backing up your computer, which is just storing copies of your files somewhere other than on your computer, is much easier than it used to be. Some backups are even automated – you don’t have to think about it when your iPhone automatically uploads your photos to iCloud.

Many people are nervous about backing up to the cloud, because they worry it is less secure. But security experts say you shouldn’t be concerned with a reputable cloud provider, especially if you take basic steps like using a strong password

If you decide not to use the cloud, you can use a flash drive, though you have to do it frequently, or you can get an external hard drive for your computer.

Experts say the safest backup method is to have three copies of important files and keep them in different places on devices and on the cloud.

Once you’re backing up, the key is to keep it up. Experts say you should back up your data as frequently as you need to, so if your computer crashes at any time, it won’t be a major setback.

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