Of your worldly possessions, what do you treasure most? You’ll probably agree your photos are among the items that are irreplaceable.
However, if you store your digital photos on your computer with no backup copies, you could lose them in a flash.
Your computer’s hard drive could suddenly stop working, it could be destroyed by a fire or flood, or it could get stolen. So if you don’t have backups of your photos and other important documents, now’s the time to start. There are three options:
It’s easy to burn files to a CD or DVD; however, you will need to keep these disks organized and protect them from heat and dust. Also, remember that if you store your CDs/DVDs in your home, there’s the same risk of losing them to fire/flood damage or theft as your computer. Consider storing an additional set with a friend or family member, or at work.
External hard drive
This is an easy way to transfer your photos/files at one time, because of the extra storage capacity. External hard drives are portable and will plug into other computers. Again, you’re best to store an external hard drive offsite, for the same reasons as above.
If there’s a natural disaster, fire or burglary, your photos/files are safely stored offsite. There are no-cost and low-cost solutions such as Snapfish and CrashPlan. Snapfish by HP offers a free secure online storage site for photos. With CrashPlan you have the option of copying files to a friend/family member’s computer, or using their secure online storage facility. Through CrashPlan, you can also automate your backups.
Be aware that as technology changes, your backup system may need to change too. E.g. Floppy disks are now obsolete.
Once you have backed up your digital photos and other files, remember to update this backup on a regular basis – either each time you transfer your photos from your camera, or once a month. By creating folders and naming them – e.g. Simon_Birthday_Jan2012 – you’ll be able to locate your photos easily.
How often do you back up your digital data? It’s automated, once per month/quarter/year, rarely?