Backups – What Would You Stand To Lose?

By Marie Stewart, Business Manager
What do you have to lose if your computer or phone were to die today and the data on it could not be recovered or the price of recovery was too prohibitive? I know very few people who have not faced this problem at least once. We put off backing up our files thinking that the most we would lose is some tax information, some banking documents, or a resume, but what about the pictures? In the days of hard-copy photographs if you lost it, it was gone forever so most of us incorrectly believe we are immune to this issue in this day of digital photographs, cloud storage, and external hard drives.

Keeping your photographs on your hard drive is what the majority of people do. That’s all well and good as long as you backup your hard drive. By keeping your photos on your hard drive, you’ll be able to find them quickly and you’ll know exactly where they are. While hard drives aren’t fool proof, they do crash, this option is far better than CDs which only last a maximum of 5 years in optimal circumstances. There are some very inexpensive choices for backing your hard drive up to the cloud (online) or to an external hard drive.

Speaking of external drives, some folks just store their photos there. These drives are not just for those who fluently speak geek if you think of them as big, reliable, and mostly unbreakable CDs. These options are generally inexpensive ranging from $100-200 and there are a lot of great drives to choose from. Plus, saving your photos to an external hard drive means more free space on your computer. But, external hard drives do eventually fail and are still susceptible to house fires or theft.

The safest and best way to backup or store your images is by putting them online. It’s also fairly inexpensive. Prices vary between $25-50 a year for unlimited uploads. Sites like Flickr and Shutterfly let you upload your pictures to a secure server, organize them into sets and collections, and order prints directly from the site. SmugMug lets you store unlimited photos and video and features themes so you can customize and spruce up online albums. These options also allow you to select who can view your photos or you can elect to keep them private. CrashPlan will save a copy of everything that passes through your computer for only $60 a year. This will help to secure not only your photos, but your resumes, taxes, and any other files you don’t want to lose.

Come see us at Stewart and Son Computer Services and let us help you decide which storage option

is best for you. We can help you set up regular backups, too, so you won’t have to fret about losing those one-of-a-kind photographs of your honeymoon trip to Italy and those gorgeous sunsets. Let us help you keep your family memories safe and secure!

Marie Stewart is the Business Manager of Stewart and Son Computer Services, LLC in University Place, WA and serves as a trusted partner to many local small and medium sized businesses.

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