The Cloud. Personally I hate the word, yet I'm using it every hour of the day (when I'm not asleep). Especially my Android device helps me appreciating cloud services, to have all my emails, calendars, tasks and notes available within a few seconds. These cloud services often provide decent search capabilities and I assume they take care of making backups at a regular basis. Previously, a hardware failure could end up being disastrous without a decent backup policy, nowadays it has become merely an inconvenience. The degree of inconvenience depends on the cost of a hardware replacement. The cloud lives on and still has all my data.
But there is one big assumption in all of this: these services are always available and will stay until eternity to store my data. Which is not quite reasonable if you think slightly longer about this.
Even one of the giant players in this field, Google, messed up twice last February. It must have been a shock to all users who realized that their calendars did not contain their appointments anymore. Or maybe worse, to see you GMail account has reverted to 'factory settings'. Both problems only happened to a small percentage of users (<1%), still we're talking about thousands and thousands of users which were affected by this. While Google is strong in redundancy and making backups, they are considerably weaker with respect to communication. During their 'downtime', the affected users were left in the dark for a bit.
But anything can happen with your data, which could make it unaccessible all of a sudden. Yahoo might decide to terminate Flickr (I wouldn't be surprised if they did), a Google data center or two may sink into the sea during a heavy earthquake or Facebook goes bankrupt. At that point you would be glad if you made regular backups of your cloud data.
However, making your own backups is quite time consuming. My Flickr account and GMail account alone are each almost 2 GB of data at the time of writing. To stay up to date I should synchronize regularly, which could be a bit challenging to do this efficiently in terms of time and (disk) space.
But then I discovered Backupify, which does the backup job for you in the background. Once set up, it will make nightly backups (or weekly in case of free plans) of your data at Google, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a few other services. This data is copied from your account and stored in Amazon S3.
The service stands out in simplicity: creating an account and setting up my services to backup went smooth. If possible, Backupify requests access to your services with OAuth, so there's no need to give away all your credentials. Most services were fully backed up within a few days, but my data heavy accounts (GMail and Flickr) took considerably longer to finish. After about 1.5 month most of my GMail account has been backed up, while a small percentage of Flickr has been stored. This is mostly due to the huge influx of people who signed up for this service after Google messed up big time.
Still, I shouldn't complain. I have the service for free for one year (which normally costs $5/month). And it does its job, all other services are backed up almost daily, and GMail and Flickr also will when their initial backup has been completed. One worry less.