And priceless memories….
When a hard drive crashes, it’s often digital photographs that people are most devastated to lose. While we can help recover photos lost in a crash, prevention is the best strategy to avoid heartache. Before backing up photos, spend some time organizing your images. There are a few easy ways to do this:
- Make sure your camera’s stamp feature is set to the correct date and time. Organizing photos by the time they were taken is often the easiest way for most people to maintain some sanity in the mountains of photos we can accumulate.
- Tag and rate your photos. Use an image management software, like Picassa, iPhoto, or Windows Live Gallery, to tag photos with who’s in your pictures and what events or milestones they represent. Most programs use a star rating system. A few clicks can elevate your favorite pictures to the top of the stack.
- Delete bad pictures immediately. With the ease of picture-taking today, there’s no reason to keep poor quality photos. Get rid of bad pictures right away to eliminate the clutter in your quest to organize and back up your memories.
Once you’ve spent some time organizing your images, it’s time to back them up in at least one additional safe place in addition to their original source. The easiest way to back up photos often involves a cord to move the photos from your camera or phone to your hard drive. What if cords aren’t an option? Use a file-syncing or backup program. Any of these services will work: Backblaze, IDrive, Dropbox, SugarSync, or Box. You may also want to back up extremely important images to one or more of these places:
- An external hard drive: The price of large external hard drives has dropped significantly in recent years. It’s not possible to get a high storage capacity drive for under $200. Most hard drives could easily be unplugged and packed in the case of emergency evacuation. ioSafe makes hard drives that are both fire and waterproof so they would keep your images safe through most disasters.
- Manual backups created by burning images to a DVD are still an effective way at preserving memories. Due to limits on space, it may be even more important to organize images prior to burning DVD copies of your collection. In the event you’ll need to restore your images, you’ll be glad you took the time to organize and back them up.
The most important thing to remember in backing up digital photos is don’t delay-do it today! Decide your method or methods and enact your backup plan today.