Camera Data Backup

Despite the fact that digital cameras have become the norm for both professionals and individuals alike, many people still aren't backing up their photos. This is because, for the most part, the ubiquity and simplicity of the digital camera has not been matched by the continuing (perceived) complexity around data backup.

The problem, of course, is that like any other files stored on your computer - your digital photos are susceptible to loss or damage. Since oftentimes computer system failures are unpredicted, backup is even more critical.

So what can you do to keep your memories safe?

  1. Make monthly backups of all your digital photos.
  2. When uploading your photos onto your hard drive, be sure to store them in organized folders, with descriptive titles for each.
  3. Use a recordable CD/DVD, or another hard-drive in addition to storing your photos on your computer's hard disk (do not delete them afterwards). This can be done manually (i.e. selecting and dragging individual photos onto the disk) or automatically via the use of a backup program.
  4. Make duplicates of your CDs and pass them along to family/friends, or place them in a safety deposit box.
  5. Print your photos and store them in a cool, dry (well-organized) place. But, keep in mind that photos printed using home printers are more likely to be damaged than those printed using traditional printers.

Although there are currently many types of backup software available, most home computer users don't need the sophisticated features they offer. Instead, the easiest solution is often simply manually entering selected data onto photo CDs or DVDs. Rewriteable DVDs are particularly good for those with a very large archive of photos.

However, if your pictures are particularly valuable to you, a CD may not be the best solution, as they are subject to damage. Instead, try a photo-sharing site, or install a second drive on your computer. Or, to avoid installation, use an external drive.

Finally, be sure not to erase the data on your camera until you have copied all of it onto your hard drive and made copies for storage.

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