Do you enjoy taking photos? Is your cell phone a veritable walking photo montage of your children’s activities? Do you have piles of SD cards filled with photos of those vacations you’ve taken over the years just lying around your office?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, then you need to read this blog!
Do You Really Need To Back Up Digital Photos?
In today’s digital age, the ability to snap and share photos and videos in a flash is so easy, and something millions of us do every single day. Cell phones with cameras connect us instantly with friends and families. Digital cameras with built-in Wi-Fi enable us to have nearly immediate photo transfers across town, or across the world. But what about after that photo or video is taken?
How do you ensure it is safely stored for future viewing pleasure? If your phone or camera SD card is the only place you store your photos and videos, then you are at risk of losing those digital memories. Things happen. Cell phones can take a dive into the pool, frying those internal files. Tiny camera SD cards can get lost in the shuffle, the images contained within never to be seen again. If something like this happens to you, those priceless digital recordings may be gone forever!
So, do you really need to back up your digital photos? My answer? Absolutely!
Methods For Backing Up Your Digital Images
Backing up your digital photos and video really isn’t that hard. In fact, it’s fairly easy to ensure those precious photos are safely stored, ready and waiting for your viewing pleasure next month, or next year. So take the time this weekend. Back up your digital imagery. Trust me. It will be time well invested!
Here are the most likely methods for storing and backing up digital photos and videos.
On-Site Backup To A Computer Hard Drive
Your desktop or laptop computer can serve as your first line of photo storage and back up. Got images on that cell phone? Download them to your laptop or computer. Using a digital camera? Sent those photos on over! Whether it’s by a USB cable or across Wi-Fi, your computer’s hard drive makes for an easily accessible photo repository for those spectacular snapshots you’ve worked so hard to capture.
Off-Site Backup With a Cloud Service
Backing up photos and videos via a cloud service is also a smart choice. First and foremost, backing up your images to a cloud service provides you with off-site protection. If disaster were to strike your home, or a computer bug decides to munch your hard drive, you’ll still have access to those irreplaceable images.
Cloud service backup has other benefits as well. You will have convenient access to your photos from practically anywhere. And sharing images via a cloud service is as easy as sending a link to whomever you want to share the images with.
Not sure where to begin? Start with a free cloud service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and for those with Apple devices, iCloud. Digital photo service websites like Shutterfly, Flickr and SmugMug also offer off-site storage options, and are very handy if you frequently print or share your photos.
Off-Line Backup To An External Hard Drive
An external hard drive does not require an Internet connection to access photos and videos, thus it is off-line. Since it is off-line, it is at a much lower risk of a data breach. Using an external hard drive as backup has the added benefit of keeping the photos safe if your computer hard drive crashes.
Another reason to back up those digital memories onto an external drive? The available storage space! If you take copious amounts of photos and long playing video, that free cloud storage might be gone in a flash. Lastly, external hard drives typically are very portable, so it’s easy to bring your photos with you on the go.
Print An Album of Digital Memories
Create a digital album of your most precious moments, then print it! Yes, I know, printing a photo album is oh so “old school,” but a hard copy of your digital memories is also a viable backup option. And, you’ll have a great statement piece for your coffee table!
Tip: Affix the camera SD card or memory stick to the inside cover of the photo album. It will help keep the card or stick from becoming lost in the shuffle.
Which Back-up Method Is The Best?
Is there any one magical method for backing up photos and videos? No, not really. Each individual method has a point of weakness. That’s why diversity is tantamount to long term digital memory storage. The more diverse your backup plan, the more likely those photos and videos will be around in at least one format in the years to come.
Here are possible scenarios that could wipe out your precious digital images, followed by the backup method you can use that could prevent the loss from happening.
1. On-line hackers and data breaches – External Hard Drive, Computer, Print
2. On-site disasters (fires, floods, ect.) – Cloud
3. Home computer virus/bug – Cloud, External Hard Drive, Print
4. Hard drive crash – Cloud, External Drive, Print
5. Cell phone stolen/crash – Cloud, Hard Drive, Computer, Print
6. Lost SD/Memory Sticks – Cloud, Hard Drive, Computer, Print
Since no one method is foolproof, consider backing up your most prized photos and videos by at least two different back up methods. Utilizing a diverse back up plan can better ensure your images are here to stay.
How do I back up my photos? All the above, depending on the images. Which methods should you use? That’s your call!
Do You Routinely Back Up Your Photos?
What if tomorrow, you dropped that cell phone into the pool? Or a glitch in the cloud dumps your photos into never-never land? Or a hacker wreaks havoc on your hard drive? Are your digital images safe and sound some place else? Or would all those precious images be gone forever?
Do you routinely back up your photos? What method do you use? Have you ever been burned by lost photos? Do share in the Comments section below.