4 Ways to Make Sure You Never Lose Your Photos

  • Category: Pics  |
  • 16 Aug, 2021  |
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1 4 Ways to Make Sure You Never Lose Your Photos

When you really think about it, most of your belongings are pretty useless. They could all burn up in a fire tomorrow and there would be no long-term loss. Sure, it would sting, but the items are replaceable. Pictures on the other hand...not so much.

Unfortunately, most of us are (figuratively) playing with fire when it comes to our photos.

Minimizing the “Window of Vulnerability”

The biggest nightmare of any photographer, parent, globetrotter, or selfie-taking diva is the thought of losing pictures. In the days of film photography, serious photographers would go so far as to keep negatives and slides in bank safe deposit boxes and fireproof safes. But somewhere along the way, the rise of digital photography gave people a false sense of security.

While most people treat their photographs like they’re more secure than in the past, the reality is that they’re less secure than ever (at least by default). In addition to physical risks like fire and water damage, there’s also the risk of file corruption, format obsolescence, and other related issues.

There is, however, a silver lining to the shift from film photographs to digital images. Because while they may be less secure in their default state, there are plenty of simple ways to tighten up security measures and prevent common risk factors from wiping out your pictures. You just need a plan. And this plan begins the moment a picture is taken.

“As soon as you take a picture or video with a digital camera, it exists in only one place: the original shot in the camera. It’s impractical to back up after every shot, so we do have to accept a window of time where there’s no backup at all. During that time, if you lose the camera, you lose all the photographs on it,” photographer Leo Notenboom writes.

This time between when a picture is taken and when it’s backed up is unofficially known as the “window of vulnerability.” Anything you can do to minimize the amount of time a picture remains in this window is helpful.

How to Keep Your Photos Safe and Secure

Here are some best practices for keeping your photos safe and secure in today’s hostile and confusing digital landscape:

1. Back Up Your Devices

The first suggestion is to back up your physical devices where photos are stored. Whether it’s a smartphone, digital camera, or even a tablet or laptop, any device that contains photos should be backed up on a regular basis. A failure to backup these devices could cause you to lose the original file (should the device crash and/or become infected with a virus).

2. Use Cloud Storage

Consistently backing up physical devices can be a pain. Even automated backups create complications and challenges. And that’s why we also recommend opting for cloud storage. (Technically, if you’re using cloud storage for all of your files, you don’t need to worry about physical backups.)

When you store a photo on a physical device, it exists in just one place. If something happens to that device or drive, the photo is gone. But when you store something on the cloud, it no longer lives in a singular, physical place. It’s now independent of any one server, which means you always have access to your photo regardless of what happens.

3. Store on an External Hard Drive

While storing a photo on the cloud is about as foolproof as you can get, there’s nothing wrong with having additional layers of security. Many photographers, for example, also prefer to store files on external hard drives. This creates another independent location for the file.

4. Print and (Properly) Store Copies

If you’re worried that something might happen to you and nobody would be able to access your cloud account or devices, then it may make sense to print physical copies of your most treasured photographs and store them in a place where they would be found (like in a safe with your will).

Adding it All Up

The best security system is a multilayered one. The more of these methods that you implement, the better off you’ll be. It might feel time-consuming and tedious, but you’ll never have to worry about losing precious memories. And it’s this peace of mind that makes it all worthwhile.

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