There are two kinds of people, those who back up their data, and those who have never had accidents happen to them.
I want to spread the love about rdiff-backup, because it's such a good tool for taking backups of anything text based, and a lot of people don't know about it. It is available in most major distributions (found it in Arch, Debian, and Fedora, stopped looking after that), and it's only dependencies are python2 and librsync. It can preserve permissions, user:groups, ACLs, extended attributes, fifos, pipes, whatnot. It is very very easy to use and automate, requiring almost no manual reading.