"The Cloud" is marketing speak for "Other People's Servers". I will use that term for the rest of this post.
When you want to store files on other people's servers, putting them into encrypted ("password protected") archives before you upload them is certainly not a bad idea (just make sure it is proper encryption. The standard ZIP encryption, for example, is very weak. I recommend the 7z format). But you might miss out on some convenience features other people's servers might provide when they have access to unencrypted files.
An alternative to storing data on other people's servers is storing your data on your own servers. There are quite affordable consumer-grade NAS (network attached storage) servers available which you can keep on your home network. When you want more physical distance between your computer and your backups (for example in case of a fire or burglary), you can also rent a server in other peoples network centers and install a solution like OwnCloud on it. This gives you more control over your files because you have more control over the environment it is stored on, but remember that it still runs on other people's servers: When you don't control physical access to a server, it is not your server.