The digital world is ever increasing in paper storage, photo storage and our means of communication. Thinking that being “digital” will save time, money and space is now more of a fallacy. Today individuals are on “digital overload” and what makes it even harder to deal with is you can’t actually hold it in your hands and sort into piles right before you on some type of tabletop or counter. You now have to deal with the sorting on your computer. This friend can be overwhelming.
For the writing of this blog, I am only going to focus on your digital photos and looking at cloud storage as an option to preserve your precious memories … and they are precious.
I personally am not using “cloud storage” at this time. I have preferred to have my digital work backed up on external hard drives (EHD) as opposed to the cloud. That doesn’t necessarily mean it is better or worse … just my preference at this time. But I have investigated the option of cloud storage. These are some requirements I have considered in making my decision.
First, let’s look at the process of what “should” be done when you have taken photos on either your Smartphone or camera.
- After the Event or reason for taking photos is complete, go back and delete all the photos that are not good. You know the ones that are blurry or someone has a not so nice expression.
- Next you want to move them from your device onto your computer.
- Create a folder and identify this folder. Year first is always the best to start with titling or name this folder. If you want to really be organized, identify and tag each picture. This makes it for easy locating in the future.
- Now you want to back up your photos so you can have a duplicate copy somewhere other than your computer and your device.
Next, let’s define what “cloud storage” means so we are all on the same page. Cloud storage is a place that you upload your photos with an “on-line” provider. You keep a copy of these photos on your computer, but also have a copy “on-line.” It is off-site and in cyberspace somewhere.
Where you decide to back them up is obviously your best decision. But if you are choosing to go down the “cloud storage” way of storing your photos, here are some questions to have answered before you make your decision.
- Does this provider have any space limitations? Some providers put a maximum number of photos you can store. This will be important to know before you start uploading your photos.
- Do you have complete control over your privacy settings? Are they easy to understand?
- Do read the fine print and be sure you maintain ownership over your image. You don’t want to find down the road some of your photos being used in a marketing ad. This has happened.
- Does this provider make it easy to download your photos if you decide to remove your photos from this storage site? There are services that will charge you a fee. Early on when you sign up and see that there is a small fee, understand that down the road you could be looking at tens of thousands of photos over time. This is not unimaginable and that fee could be pretty great.
- Does the provider protect your privacy regarding your personal information? Or do they have the right to sell it to other marketing companies? Many free services “mine” your data. Which means they sell and share it to 3rd party companies for advertising purposes.
- Does your provider have high-level security and back up their storage in many places?
- Does your provider offer a succession plan for your photos? What does this mean? Well if you were to pass away, will your family be able to obtain these photos and have access to your account?
- Does your provider keep your metadata intact on each photo and does it keep the photo in its original size? Many providers compress the images and remove your metadata when you upload them. This saves them space.
These are some of the key issues to have addressed before you start uploading your photos in the “cloud.” If you would like a “yes” to each of these questions, then comment below and I will tell you how that is possible.
So now get those photos preserved and backed up whether you choose the cloud or an EHD. It’s imperative that you do it. If you need help preserving those memories, I’d be honored to help you. Our memories are our families most treasured possession.
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