It's a huge advertisement for what we do here: not relying on Internet resources for [most] programs, self-contained, very easy to backup, and no thorny privacy issues.
Some of the members here even virtualized their working environment, which I understand if done right works as a full automatic backup.
I'm not there yet, but here are my rules of thumb:
- Separate system and data disks/drives;
- Separate data from applications by avoiding proprietary formats as much as possibile;
- Portability is the best strategy to ensure easy restoring -- it might even work across different platforms;
- Cloud services are good, but not for your vital data -- after all, you wouldn't want to be asking your neighbor for the key to your own house, right?;
- LOCKSS (Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Save) if you can... -- just make sure you can identify/access them easily, otherwise they're worthless.
Regarding Google, I have two main accounts: one is a backup drop basket, the other is associated with my Android smartphone -- the later will get changed whenever I change my phone... I look elsewhere for free webmail. And that amounts for one last rule: don't place all your eggs in the same basket...