You have to trust your equipment somehow and at some stage.
What I do (only my opinion)
I have Primary HD partitioned into C: (which carries the OS and applications)
D: which carries all my data of whatever kind.
Also an external HD which is only switched on for backups, i.e. Acronis file of C: and folders for the data I really want to keep form D:
The data is backed up almost daily using a freebie called EZBackitup.
This is really a batch file where I can select folders which I want to back up and ignore temporary stuff.
I hope the external HD will have a very long life since it is only used for a few minutes most days.
Of course you can use yet another HD internal or external, but why not choose good quality DVD R disks and burn the pictures that way, for a backup of backups!
Pennies instead of pounds, but do NOT use bargain basement blanks if you expect to read the disks next year!