Every computer user should have a good backup plan. Personally I loath to loose any information from my computer, be it from a hardware failure, accidental removal or anything else that could result in a loss. This sure shows in my backup archives as many files are on several sets of backup medium.
A good program to look at for backing up is Lucky Backup. Written for Linux, community members are working on a Windows version and it appears there is a Mac OS-X version out there as well. I would highly recommend it for Linux users and am just waiting for the Windows version to be complete so I can recommend it for Microsoft's OS as well.
Lucky Backup functions as a GUI front end for the r-sync utility and is very straight forward and easy to configure. Choose your source, destination and options such as back up or sync. I always disable the delete from destination option as I don't want files on my backup to vanish just because it no longer exists on the source drive. Other options include directory exclusions (both user selected and options to exclude cache and trash folders among others).
From the default profile you can create different tasks to perform. I have three different task sets created, and usually have all three checked and run them at the same time. Lucky Backup is extremely quick on successive runs, with the first run taking the longest as it is transferring the most data. On subsequent runs, only the changed files are backed up.
A word of caution: I would not recommend using Lucky Backup in Super User mode if you are wanting to backup more than one user's home folder (in fact, I do not even use super user mode anymore) from under one main account. This did cause some permission issues rendering the other account on my computer useless. It is best to create individual back up profiles from with in each users account and go from there.
I use Lucky Backup on my Xubuntu 11.10 system and enthusiastically recommend it as a great backup utility. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.