Remember when we first started talking about cloud-to-cloud backup, and how we all knew we had to backup our files when they just lived on our hard drives, but then the cloud came along and we collectively forgot to back everything up? Well, I think we’ve done it again with Google Drive. Sure, it’s awesome and we love it. I’m writing this post in a Google doc, in a shared folder on my Google Drive. As soon as I’m done my compadres on the other side of the world will have access to it, and if they make any changes I’ll be able to see them without starting a long chain of back and forth emails and naming files “v1, v2, v3,” etc. (Oh, email. I wonder if my kids will even have email addresses, or if, by the time they can type, email will have disappeared, like laser discs and MySpace.)

Google Drive is definitely a safer place than your desktop to store your important files and data. We all know the humble desktop is a hotbed of security risks, from zombies to USBs behaving badly. And of course, Google backs up their data. I mean, we are talking about Google. When a company name becomes a verb, they’re pretty solid. Right? But that doesn’t mean it’s safe.

The most common cause of data loss in Google Drive – about two-thirds of all cases – is user error. This can take many forms, all of which are heartbreaking and permanent. (Just ask this guy.) You can accidentally delete a file, or a folder, or an account. In the case of a file or a folder, if you realize it within 30 days and before you empty the trash, you might be in luck. Or you might not. In the case of deleting an account, there’s no un-doing it. Buh-bye. You can also intentionally delete data and realize you need it later. Alas, you can’t turn back time. (Ask Cher, she knows.)

If you are sharing docs (and you know you are) you can also lose files when the original owner of the doc deletes it, accidentally or on purpose. Even if you’ve totally saved it and been working on it for months and think it’s yours, you might wake up one day and find that it’s gone. If an administrator starts deleting files, fuggedaboutit. It’s all over.

On top of all the “woops” scenarios, there are also things like:

All of which can strike at anytime, and induce early-aging if suddenly your life’s work is missing or inaccessible.

The good news is, all of these issues can be remedied if you backup your Google Drive. Don’t wait and find out the hard way. Start today and get ahead of the game. You know, like Google did.