Apr 20, 2018

How to Keep Your Digital Family Photos Safe

Many of us can still remember the time before digital photography became the mainstream. Back then, the photos that we took existed as physical objects. They were either printed out in front of us, or they were contained on a roll of film inside the camera. These days, things are very different. Not many people are still using film cameras for their day to day photography needs. Now that everyone is carrying smartphones which have cameras built in, and digital cameras are so cheap, it’s not hard to understand the switch.

While digital photography makes it much much easier to backup and preserve photos, there is always going to be a risk of losing them if people don’t take care of their data. If you are someone with an extensive collection of treasured memories and family photos stored digitally, then this guide is for you.

Digital Photography

When you take a photo on a digital camera, the resulting image is stored within the memory of the device that you use. If that device is a phone, you may well not move the file at all. From your phone you are able to share and manipulate photos, but generally those who want to do serious editing are using a full digital camera.

If you plug your camera into a PC however, you will be given the option to transfer your files over and remove them from the device if you wish. Most people will want to clear the memory in their camera for more photos and so will delete the files from the camera once they’ve transferred. You now only have one copy of your photos, stored on your PC. In order to make them safe, you need to back them up!

Physical Backups

To make a physical backup of a data file, you need to transfer it onto another form of storage. The most common backup mediums today are USB flash drives and digital memory cards. Copying a file onto another physical device is quick and painless, and the storage itself is cheap. If you want to keep photos safe, you should definitely invest in backup storage.

The advantage of using a physical backup medium is that, as long as you keep the storage device itself safe, the data contained on it will also remain safe. By contrast, when you entrust your files to a cloud-based service (more on them below), you are exposed to the risk of that service being hacked or going out of business.

Cloud Backups

When you upload a photo online somewhere, something that many phones can be set to do automatically, it will be stored digitally in the cloud. There are a number of services which exist specifically to allow users to backup photos online. The downside to sharing photos online is that this means, in principle at least, they can be accessed by malicious actors. This guide from Secure Data Recovery is an excellent starting point for learning how to keep your personal data safe.

Keeping family photos safe is an age-old problem, but it is one whose nature is constantly changing in response to advances in technology. Today, the fight revolves around backing up and keeping safe our digital files. There are a number of ways that you can do this, and given how cheap backing up is, there’s no reason to risk all of those precious memories!


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