It is important to ensure that your data is safe. Possibly the best method is to keep local data backups on external HDDs. But not everybody has this ability, and even keeping a local copy is not always enough. Sometimes you will need access to files from the office or other computers which you use on a daily basis.
I think a really solid option is to move into cloud-based online data backups. This works out so great because you can access files from any Operating System including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. The biggest factor is recognizing how much space you will need, and this greatly depends on your own needs. As an example, videos will require more external storage space than documents or website files.
Planning a Backup
There are lots of good resources online to get into studying data backups. Just last year there was an excellent piece in The Guardian asking is it worth backing up to the cloud? The benefits of accessing files from any computer only come to certain people who have this need in mind. Similarly if your local hard drives fail or get damaged/lost, then cloud storage is another alternative.
As for providers, I would suggest that readers check out Best Backups for their cloud storage solutions. There are a number of providers including their top 10 picks supported by users and resellers alike. The pricing tables are easy to skim and determine exactly which services you will need. I think this is an important step towards recognizing what features are important for remote data storage.
Obviously you would like to gain access from any computer regardless of the upload capabilities. Not all smartphones are currently supported, but there is a growing trend following the large numbers of users. It would help to get together a small list of ideas for which files you need to upload and keep stored in the cloud. This is also a good time to put together an estimated number of MB/GB required for your total storage space.
If you are worried about people getting into your account then follow a few easy steps to keep yourself insured. This great article on safe cloud backups provides a number of good ideas. You may try going through an encryption service or updating your password every month or two. Similarly watch out for automatic sync data so that you do not delete anything important without another copy.
It is always a good idea to keep some local copies of your files, too. There is just no telling what possible accidents may occur when server outages could be a big issue. The cloud is more of a resource for gaining quick access to your files off any computer with Internet connection. But do not consider this as a safer means than keeping local files on your own hard drives. After looking through many of the services I would argue that cloud backups do have a purpose in helping people gain access to their files quicker, easier, and without the hassle of USB flash drives.