It's worse than a punch in the gut—that awful realization that your computer has crashed and your wedding photos are gone, your beach vacation photos are gone, and your baby's first birthday photos ... gone.
You scold yourself for not backing them up, saving them to a disk, or leaving them on your memory card. You swear you'll never make that mistake again, but how can you prevent a virus from wiping out your priceless photos again? Here are a few ways to make sure they're stored safely and securely.
1. Keep them in the Cloud
Upload your precious photos to cloud storage where they'll be safely stored until you need them again. Accessing them at any time is easy, and you'll never again experience that sinking feeling that comes with knowing you've lost an entire year's worth of memories to one annoying computer crash. Different features and fee structures are available at the various providers, so do your research—decide what type of storage you need and research cloud storage rankings for dependability.
2. Save them to Disc
Another efficient way of saving your digital memories is to burn them onto a disc. According to the International Journal for the Preservation of Library and Archival Material, CD-R discs made with phthalocynine dye are the ones that stand the test of time. They're less likely to exhibit laser rot and deterioration over time. The fact that the disc is a CD-R instead of a CD-RW, also means you can't accidently copy over the photos you have stored.
If you choose this method of storage, it's still a good idea to have a backup system in place. Even the best CDs deteriorate over time, so have an alternative storage method.
3. Use an External Hard Drive
Although external hard drives can be susceptible to viruses, they're a good back up to discs and to the regular hard drive on your PC. External hard drives hold a ton of photos without slowing things down and they're easy to retrieve when you need them. PC Magazine recommends the top five external hard drives, which include:
• LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt (1TB SSD)
• LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt (120GB SSD)
• Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Secure Hard Drive
• Seagate Backup Plus
• Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive for Mac (1TB)
4. SD Card
SD Cards are the small memory sticks that go inside your camera before you leave on a photo expedition. These are a viable option for storing photos, except that they have a size limit and can fill up quickly if you're not cautious of your volume of large file sizes. These are also not foolproof for life, but they'll do until you have a chance to upload your memories to the cloud.
5. Combination Storage
Of all these options, cloud storage is the safest file storage method of hanging onto precious digital files. Be extra safe, however, by using a combination of storage solutions. With more than one dependable storage solutions in place, your cherished memories will be safe and secure for years to come.
SEE ALSO: Keeping Your Treasured Photos Safe
We’ve shared our ideas, now we want to ask you – how do you preserve your family memories and not lose them forever? Share them with us in a comment below!