MAKE BACKUPS NOW!
As there are now plenty of free services that can do a better job at backing up your files than we can, we do not offer that service. We encourage you to use a little time now to ensure that your images will be available for years to come.
Highly Recommended: make at least TWO backups of your image files off your main hard drive. For instance:
- Backup to a CD or DVD. (This form of storage may be on the way out, however.)
- Backup to an external hard drive.
- Backup to an external thumb or flash drive. (There is some debate as to how long the data remains usable before the information degrades on these, but they seem to be improving.)
- If you have your own domain, you can upload files to your server. This is a good off-site solution.
- Backup to an an external file storage site. There are now many that offer gigabits of free storage, including Google, Amazon, and DropBox. They also allow you to easily share your files. However, we don't recommend trusting entirely in these services as your sole means of backup, so do make at least one extra yourself as noted above.
- AN EASY WAY: email the file to yourself or someone else. How large of a file you can attach varies with your service. Currently Gmail seems to allow at least 25MB. Once you email a file, it can remain on a server for years as long as the email is not deleted. To be able to find it again, use easy to remember associated key words in the subject line and body such as: your name or subject's name, "photo", "photograph", "pape-sheldon", year done, etc to aid you in a search. Whatever words you first think of are usually the right ones.
- Keep one of your copies at another location. It is still best to hedge by using more than one service or method: for instance, one online and one to external hard drive at your home or place of business.
- Backups have been known to fail. Make at least two using two methods. And three wouldn't hurt.