A lot of operating systems give you the option and remind you to back up your system. As well as this you have a lot of online storage available, such as Google Drive, Sky Drive and many others where you can store tons of information somewhere in the air, so that if your system crashes or you have a hardware breakdown, you can still access your important information and any programs you have purchased.
When you purchase a flash drive - which will also store all your information and programs without hassle, you also have the option of obtaining online storage by opening an online account. A flash drive, I think is one of the most marvelous inventions - this tiny little storage device (known as a massive storage device) can store all the information on your computer and more, and could get lost in the corner of your jacket pocket.
So back up and be safe - today there is no reason to lose any information - it is just a question of discipline and being aware that it can happen to you.