There are many things in life that are replaceable, but photos of your once in a lifetime moments aren’t.
Protecting your photos is so often overlooked; and the importance is only realised when its too late. Digital devices are fragile things and known to break without warning – so if you’re storing your photos digitally, it’s absolutely crucial that you back them up. If you haven’t got a backup already, put it at the top of your to-do list. If you’re already backing them up, that’s great – but are you doing it in the right way?
The bare minimum to protect your data is to make a backup on a separate hard disk / storage device. This can be done manually via drag and drop, or if you’re more technically savvy, you can mirror your main hard drive onto another, creating an identical copy of your hard drive as it changes.
How to mirror your hard drive
This will protect you in case one of your hard disk fails and you’re unable to recover all of your data.
Once you have your second hard drive, you can decide on where to put it. You can keep it in the same place as your computer – but what would happen if (god forbid), there was a fire or someone broke into your house? Both of those hard drives could be damaged / stolen. So if your second hard drive is portable, it’s generally a good idea to keep it separate from the first, perhaps in a safe or even better, at another location completely.
However, this does make updating your library somewhat more difficult as you’d have to be ferrying your hard drive back and forward.
So what else can you do?
The third option is to copy of all of your photos to a secure online location. There are many places that offer ‘cloud storage’ services for incredibly low amounts, so don’t be fooled by Apple’s extremely high priced offerings.
For under £40 per year, you can hire a service called ‘Carbonite’ to backup all your data to their cloud as soon as you load it to your computer. That’s under £40 a year for UNLIMITED online storage and piece of mind for any eventuality.
So what now?
If you don’t have a backup of your photos now, get to the shops, get yourself another hard drive and make a copy of them. It’s crucial you’re at least covered against hard disk failure.
Next, look into online storage – if you’re able to use it, create another copy online and update it and your second hard drive regularly. That’s the safest option – three versions of your photos; the originals on your computer, a backup on a hard drive, and an online backup.
Everything else is insured against but photos so often aren’t. Make sure your precious memories aren’t at risk and keep them safely backed up.
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