The single best practice that can really get you out of trouble is probably proper backups. Fortunately, if you run Linux, you've got all the best tools at your fingertips. Some of them are very specialized, like Bacula and Amanda, but automated and safe backups can be performed with as little as gtar, gzip, ssh and rsync.
GNU tar and zip (gtar, gzip) are quick and easy to use to get the archive assembled and compressed. With that out of the way, the requirement to store backups off-site can be fulfilled as follows.