Digital Photos – Backup & Storage: How Safe are Yours?

Think your digital photos are safe?

Do you have backups?

How many different places do you have your digital photos backed up to? Are they only on your phone or do you download them to your computer or to the cloud and then delete what you had stored on your smartphone so you have more space to take more photos?

For clarity, the simplest definition of a back-up is having an exact copy located in two or more different places so that if one copy is destroyed you have another. So if you download those photos and then delete what is on your phone, you are not backing up. You are just switching the place that your photos are actually located.

Maybe you fall into the group where your photos are automatically “backed up” on the cloud.

Would you still believe your photos are safe if the company was hacked or it went out of business and you could not access your photos? Malware is affecting big companies everyday.

If any of the above scenarios describes how you are “saving” your photos, here is a simple formula I learned recently from the Association of Personal Photograph Organizers [APPO] for properly backing up your photos. After doing this, you might sleep more peacefully knowing your photographic memories are safe and sound …

The 3-2-1 Formula

3 copies of each photo file
2 are back-ups (located on 2 different media types or devices)
1 is the primary file

Here is an example of how that might look:

1 copy on your main computer (primary file)
1 copy on an external hard drive
1 copy in a cloud service

If your main computer does not have enough storage space to store all of your photos, a second external hard drive can be used instead. Just make sure that it is made by a different manufacturer from your other external hard drive. You don’t want to buy two hard drives from the same manufacturer at the same time because then you could have two drives go bad because they were created from the same faulty batch.

 So let’s say you’ve gone ahead and followed these backup best practices. That’s great! However, I hope you’ve done the last crucial step which is to let someone else know the location, username and password to access your photograph copies in the case of an emergency or tragedy. It becomes a moot point after investing all your time and money in saving these precious memories for the next generation if they can’t access them.

Is the idea of organizing and backing up your photos a well meaning intention you keep putting off because life gets to hectic? If so, let me do some of the leg work for you. If you would like to find out more about organizing your photograph collection or at least properly backing it up for when you finally have the time to organize it, contact us for a photo organizing session. Whether your photographs are digital, print or both, we can help you organize, safe guard and protect your precious memories.

About Gabriela Burgman

Gabriela's mission is to empower her clients with the tools and motivation they need to get and stay organized. Prior to becoming a Professional Organizer, Gabriela worked in a photograph archive as well as several university archives, assisting offices, administrators, and retiring academics to sort through their files for preservation or disposal. She became a professional organizer in 2007 working as an independent consultant before joining Living Peace. When Gabriela is not learning new ways to organize photos or paper both physically and electronically, she is spending time on what matters most to her: visiting with family and friends, reading a good mystery book, or cooking a tasty meal.

4 comments on “Digital Photos – Backup & Storage: How Safe are Yours?

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