While the Document Recovery task pane and AutoRecover are helpful tools, it's in your best interest to do everything you can to prevent lost work.
Save your work periodically and before you close a file. This is the best protection against losing work.
Back up your work. Backup is the process of copying files so they will be saved in the case of computer failure or other problem. Many computers come with basic backup software, but you can also buy backup software. Because some files are more important than others, choose a backup schedule that works best for you. For example, weekly backup may be adequate for the latest family newsletter, but you may want to run a daily backup for that 10-page paper due next week.