One of the most important things you need to do for your photo collection is to create a back up plan. Creating a secure back up solution for your photos isn’t a very sexy subject, but it is a critical part of your photographic footprint. We recommend a triple backup strategy. According to Aimee Baldridge, author of Organizing Your Digital Life, your storage system should accomplish two basic goals:
- Your photos should be accessible;
- You should be able to recover your photos in the event of a computer failure, a natural disaster or a theft and restore your collection without it being a lengthy or expensive process.
To accomplish these goals, you should back up and archive your collection to at least three sources:
- A home backup that is triggered automatically each time you finish working on your collection + a regular archive of this back up.
- A remote backup of your collection using an online photo storage service that is archived to one or more servers for extra protection.
- Additional backup methods include exporting to archive quality CDs, printing your photos or utilizing user-friendly external backup devices like Picture Keeper.
Here are some examples of online backup solutions you can research: Back Blaze, Carbonite, Crash Plan, Forever and Mylio. Services like these automatically copy your images from your computer to their secure data centres over the internet. When the time comes that you will need to recover your photos, they can be restored through your web browser from anywhere you are. The truth is it isn’t a matter of IF your hard drive will crash but only a matter of when. Best to be prepared!
The Association of Personal Photo Organizers, APPO advises there are a few caution flags to be aware of when choosing your online backup or “cloud backup” plan:
- Pay close attention to how any backup service handles changes made on your device. Will it keep deleted photos in an archive or if you delete them from your device, are they deleted from the backup too?
- Does your backup service keep your photos at their original size?
- How much space will your service allow you to use?
Regardless of your backup service, be sure to read the online guides to ensure you understand how the changes you make on your device and through their web portal will affect the backup. No matter what…back it up! Not sure which back up solution is the best fit for you? Ask me… I can help you create a customized backup plan that addresses your needs.