You want to make sure your iPhone or iPad is backed up at all times. You can do that by either connecting your device to a computer, running iTunes, and letting it back up, or via iCloud.
The downside of doing it through iTunes is that you only backup every time you connect to your computer. So if you don't connect for a month, you don't have a recent backup.
iCloud backup backs up your entire device nightly to apples servers. Lets get to the setup.
- Turn on your iPhone (same for iPad), open up the Settings App. Scroll down until you see iCloud. Choose it.
- You will see the screen on the right. You want to create a new iCloud account. Its free and takes less then five minutes. Choose a new iCloud email address and password, and make sure to write that info down somewhere.
- After you set up the new iCloud account, make sure to check all items to ON in the list. More importantly though, scroll to the bottom and choose Backup and Storage.
- On the next screen, turn iCloud Backup On.
Now every time you put your device to charge, and wifi is on, it will back up your entire phone daily.
If you ever lose your device or need a new one, when setting up the new device it will ask you if you want to set it up as a new device, or if you want to restore a backup from iCloud.
Choose restore from iCloud and you will see your backups from your old device. It will then restore everything back on to your new device.