You’ve taken loads of pictures, but do you have a plan in place to safeguard your photos if something goes wrong? A damaged hard drive, a stolen computer, natural disasters, or someone another unfortunate event could take away a lifetime of digital memories if you don’t have a plan to keep them safe.
Technology today has afforded us more tools than we ever imagined. Some of those tools can be used to store digital memories and make them easily accessible when you need them. This guide outlines a way to back up and save your photos online so that they would be around in good times and bad.
Scan Your Photos
Convert your old analog photos to digital format for easy storage. This is easy to do with a scanner. A lot of printers these days come with a scanner, so you can utilize that feature to convert your old but cherished photos.
An alternative to scanning hundreds of photos yourself is to have someone do it for you. Scanmyphotos.com and other similar retailers charge a flat rate fee to scan as many as 2000 photos. They will scan all your photos and mail them back to you along with a DVD on which the digital versions are stored.
A cheaper alternative if you use the Sony PictureStation kiosks found at FedEx stores and a few other retailers. There, you’ll be able to scan up to 100 photos in one go. It is a time saver if you have a lot of photos to scan, and at a cost of $5/100, it is definitely worth the effort.
Store Your Photos
Now that you have all your photos in digital format, your next step is to think about storage options. Import the photos into your computer and back them up on an external hard drive. You might also want to create several disk copies and distribute to family and friends.
For added security, don’t store your external hard drive at your home. Store them at a friend’s house, or get a safety deposit box if your photos are that precious.
You can also use an online photo service or online backup to store your photos.
Online photo services
Online photo services provide a safe way to store your photos offsite. You’ll find a free option available for most services, but you’ll be restricted in the amount of storage space available with this option.
Social media sites like Facebook, which let you upload your photos, will have some limitations. Facebook, for example, lowers the resolution of your photos and if you were to store every last photo there, you’ll soon find that it gets difficult to retrieve your photos.
Try online photo storage services like Phanfare or SmugMug if you want to store a lot of photos and maintain your photos’ integrity.
Online backup services like Carbonite will let you store more than just photos. The service will automatically take a backup of all your files stored on your computer for a small yearly fee.
External hard drives might provide the cheapest way to store your photos, but is not necessarily the safest. Use online services to provide an extra layer of security, but you’ll also get the benefit of easy access to your photos whenever and wherever you are.