Why Back Up?
Because They Don't Care About You
Technology is business, and in business, money often takes priority over ethics. With the law perpetually lagging behind technology and business, there is often nothing between you and getting screwed over besides your own volition.
Corporations do not contemplate their own inevitable end. At least, they don't do it in public, unless they are in really bad shape. When times are good, those thoughts are pushed away, and end users are encouraged to do the same. But backup is a constant need.
Disaster will strike
Entropy will rear its head, if you leave things up to chance. You will lose 4 years worth of email, including communications from the early days of your marriage and the receipt from that flat panel monitor you bought online that now has tons of dead pixels.
There is real convenience to web services like Google Apps, but convenience should be evenly matched with user control and agency. Businesses can be extremely helpful, but they are also self-interested. As benevolent as Web services often present themselves to be, your data is valuable to them. And it should be valuable to you, too.
But there is still hope
Luckily, a few basic (and cheap) precautions can bring the long-term care of your data into your own hands, away from the short-term world of the Internet.
--Ross 14:52, 9 January 2009 (UTC) is currently wrangling this page.