Backup Your Digital Photos

2013-01-12 (Saturday) by Mikael Linusson

In these times when most people take all their photographs with digital cameras it has become so much easier to make backups of all your photos. In the old day it was a hassle, but today there are no excuses to not have a backup.

I wonder how many people out there really do it on a regular basis, or at all. Hard disk drives are so cheap today, that most people that can afford a camera and a computer, probably can afford an USB-disk too.

In addition to my photos and videos I also make backup of other important files. Think about all the stuff you have on your computer, do you really want to risk losing all of it?

As I see it, there are essentially two good ways to handle the backups:

Online Backup Services

Use google or ask your friends and find some online backup service. This might be a good option if you have high speed internet access and like the thought of having all your photos out there on the internet. Even if you data should be safe you never know what might happen if someone hacks the service you use.

Make sure you read the privacy info, user license and similar info before you sign up and start using any such service. When you find a company you think would be good, you can also ask around or google them before signing up.

Using an internet service for backups might be the easiest way to handle the backups, but I prefer to not have all my photos and other files out on the internet. So now it's time for the way I prefer to handle all my backups.

Off-site USB Disk Backup

Off-site means that after you've made the backup you store it at a friend or family members home. So that if something happens with your home, you've still got a backup of all the important photos and documents.

USB disks is cheap today, so I really recommend that you buy two if you can afford it. Then you always have one disk at home, and one disk away. And when you've made a new backup you go to your friend or family members home and switch out the disks. I do this like every other month or once every quarter. You can do it as often as it fits your needs.

I also use a program called TrueCrypt to encrypt my backup disks. This is good if you don't want someone else to be able to read the disks, for example if they get stolen or ends up in the wrong hands for some reason. This will make creating the backups a bit slower and is an optional step, but depending on your situation and what you make backup of, you might want to do it.

Make an Off-site Backup Up, One Way or Another

If you have never made a backup of your important documents or especially all your digital photos and videos, then I really recommend that you do it as quickly as possible. And I really really really recommend that you store it somewhere else than in your home. An extra disk will save you if your computer hard disk drive dies, but if you want to be safe in case your house burns down or gets broken into, then you need an off-site backup, either on an internet service or on an off-site USB disk.

If you don't know enough about computers to make a backup, if you don't understand what I'm talking about, then ask your family and friends if someone can help you.

You might never need the backup, but in this case I would say it is better to be safe than sorry.