I’ve never personally lost files from a computer crash, but I know there are many who have and didn’t take the precaution to back their files up. Don’t be that person! It’s much better to be extra paranoid about what could go wrong and be overly prepared by having multiple backups. I’ll talk about the infamous “cloud” in another post, but for now, let’s stick with the tangible.
Depending on your computer’s storage, you may find that it has enough room to store all of your images and more. However, many of us don’t have a great deal of storage space to work with, so we put our photos on external drives. Wherever you decide to store items, you still should back them up. I recommend backing up two separate devices and storing those in different locations so if one is damaged and/or lost you still have another to recover from.
External hard drives are more affordable than ever but prices will vary depending on the size & brand you choose. I have a large 2TB that I typically work from, and two 1TB backups. All of those are Seagate, which is one of the highest rated brands, but seek out your own reviews before choosing. I also always save my favorites to my computer’s hard drive and post those to my website, so I know that at least those have another way of being backed up.
Another place to store photos is the simple flash drive. Though it has a smaller capacity, it still will be able to handle a selection of your top picks. You can’t traditionally back up your computer on flash drives, so you’ll have to manually copy folders over.
If you were really worried, you could save items on CD’s, but that would only be of help if your computer still has a CD drive. Many laptops no longer have them and are steadily losing USB ports, so these physical means of storage won’t be a long-term guarantee, but they will hold you over until everything is completely digital.
Another option is to always print out your ultimate favorites. Seeing an image on a screen doesn’t compare to viewing it in real life. Aside from fire or water damage, prints can last a long time and be passed from family to family.
If you haven’t yet backed up your work, I highly recommend doing so as soon as possible. You never know what’s around the corner.
May the light be with you.