I’m guessing you may have never heard the term “Memory Insurance.” It’s not really a product, or at least we don’t think about it that way. Today is National Backup Day, and while you might not see a greeting card (yet) for this holiday at your local stores, it is probably worth focusing on at least once a year.
When I talk to clients about their most cherished possessions, often they talk about time with their family, and in particular, travel. Photos taken with family and friends at special events and on vacation are truly treasures. Nothing can destroy those treasures faster than a hard drive failure on your computer. A solid backup program is great “Memory Insurance.” Here are a few strategies to protect those priceless pictures, along with other important information.
1. If you only need to backup pictures, consider uploading them to a service like KodakGallery or PicasaWeb. By loading the photos onto one of these services, you’ve at least got a copy in cyberspace that can be downloaded or where you can purchase prints. Some of these sites may reduce the quality or file size of the photos, so be sure to read the terms and conditions to be sure the service meets your needs.
2. If you don’t have much to backup, look at DropBox. I use DropBox to save files that I may want to access on different computers. DropBox automatically saves the files online, and through the desktop program it can automatically sync those files to be sure I have the latest version on any computer. The free account has a storage limit of 2GB, so if you don’t have a lot of data to backup this may work for you.
3. If you have large amounts of data, look at unlimited plans through any number of vendors (Carbonite, Mozy, CrashPlan, iBackup, you get the picture.) If you’ve had a digital camera for a while, or have digital videos that you would like to have backed up, this is probably your best bet.
This is a very simple introduction to the world of backups but I hope it encourages you to think about your backup plan. Once those files are lost, they are usually gone forever so take a small step now to protect them well into the future.
(For a more extensive discussion of your options, check out this article at CNet.com)