Remember that everything going across the Internet has the potential of being stolen. The Internet is wild and the unthinkable happens.
The safest bet for you is to get a high-quality hard drive (i.e. Western Digital) and use it as your backup drive.
I've been looking on the web, trying to find a data recovery company that I can trust to pull some data off of a borked 2.5" laptop drive (lenovo T61 OEM 160 gb 5400rpm - makes a whirring sound and won't boot or even mount the C: drive when I tried to use the recovery partition. The system would also blue screen when I tried to boot from the recovery partition with a USB drive connected). I've since replaced the drive and restored to factory, and I have access to old backups. Of course its the recent stuff that hadn't backed up yet that I need to get to....
I'm torn - I could drop $100 on a USB-to-SATA cable and SpinRite, but I'm worried that I'll thrash the drive even more, and still have to drop $500 - $1000 on a clean-room recovery service.