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1 How to backup your data correctly

1.1 USB stick

You can use a USB stick with the cp command

cp -r yourfiles /mnt/usb/yourfolder/

1.2 On a server

You can save your data on your own server if you have got one with the rsync command

rsync -aHSv --del --progress ~/yourdata -n

You can also use the scp command

scp "file" nameofthemachine@ipofthemachine:~/destinationfolder

2 What data do you have to save?

The most important one is you ~/ folder which contain most of your personal data and private keys.