You should keep three copies of your important data.
♦ 1 local - on your workstation
♦ 1 local/remote - an external hard drive
♦ 1 remote - on a university, or department server, or the cloud
Is your data too big for that?
♦ Data compression is an option, but make sure that one copy, somewhere, is uncompressed.
♦ Use open source encryption software
♦ Document the software and version of the software you used to compress your files in your metadata
Have a Back-up Plan - and use it!
♦ Write out a schedule for updating copies of your data on your local and remote storage devices
♦ How often should you back up data? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? It depends. In the event of a disaster, how much data do you want to re-create? How much are you even able to re-create?
♦ Who's going to do it? Put that in your Plan too.