Family picture albums and boxes of photographs are treasures to keep and pass on. But what about the digital photos piling up? Are they organized? Backed up? Can you find what you want? Do you have a plan for taking care of them and passing them down to your children and grandchildren? Taking care of your digital photos is different from taking care of the hard copies. When you put a photo in a box, it should be there for years to come. You’ll be able to pass it on. Digital photo collections take effort in order to maintain. Everyone needs to know the best way to store digital photos.
You have to regularly manage the memories you’ve captured with your digital cameras and mobile phones. If you don’t your family will lose them. Have you ever had something on a floppy disk but not had a computer with a floppy disc drive? There’s no way to retrieve what’s on it unless you have the machine you need for the job. Technology is changing all the time and becomes obsolete. And equipment breaks. Don’t let your pictures get stuck where you can’t access them.
There’s another problem with your digital pictures. It’s easy to lose track of them. They could be on CD’s, thumb drives, email, cloud storage, websites, etc.
And don’t forget that hackers are a threat. That’s why online storage services shouldn’t be your only storage solution.
It’s easy to keep and manage your digital photos. Everyone can safely store their digital photos with these 5 simple steps. Make this your system for saving your digital family memories.
Best Way to Store Digital Photos
#1 Gather it all together
The first thing you need to do is get everything together in one place. Make a list of all places where you have digital photos and videos. Use this list to jog your memory.
- Thumb drives
- Floppy discs
- Camera memory cards
- Photo sites
- Social media
- Cloud storage accounts
#2 Decide what to save
Go through your collections and decide what you want to keep. Label each photo with something descriptive. This will help you find photos without having to open a long list of files.
#3 Organize your collection
Take some time to create a system of organization that works best for you. For example, create a main file for Photos and create subfiles for each year. Next, make subfiles under each year using labels like "Family", "Vacations", "Holidays", "RV". Get as detailed as you like.
#4 Make backup copies in different places
Copy your folders to at least 2 different types of storage devices. Verify that your files copied over with a simple spot check. Do this by clicking on several files at random to make sure that they copied over. If you put your pictures in "The Cloud" (online storage service) keep a backup on a local device. A good rule to follow for this step is the 3-2-1 Backup Rule:
- Have at least 3 copies
- Save at least 2 on different mediums
- Keep at least 1 copy away from your home
#5 Update your storage devices
If your devices are older, move your collection to a current digital storage medium. Replace storage devices every five to seven years.
Now that you’re securing your special memories for generations to come make sure to share what you’ve done. Tell loved ones where you've stored the digital family photos. And make sure they have any login information they need.