1. Minimize risk.
- Three copies of your digital files: True preservation backup calls for three distinct copies. Include all your genealogy databases, files, email, photos, audio interviews, and social media downloads.
- Two different storage media: Don’t put all your digital files in one basket. You already have the original working copy of your files existing on your computer hard drive. Store a second copy on an external hard drive.
- One copy stored offsite: Protect your data from natural disaster, theft or accident by storing one copy of your digital files in a second physical location such as a cloud storage service or on an external hard drive stored at your office or a relative’s home.
2. Protect your physical assets.
3. Consider remote monitoring.
4. Don’t settle for false security.
- You lose control of your photos the second they go live on the internet. Other users can download, edit, and otherwise alter your images without your permission or involvement. Any citation, identification and story you’ve painstakingly connected with the image may be lost.
- Photo resolution drops to web-quality. In most instances, this results in images that are no longer viable for printing. Even social media sites that boast “full-resolution” images can change their terms of service at any time. Don’t leave your photo archive at risk for a downgrade in quality.
- Future access isn’t guaranteed. These sites have no obligation to preserve your photos for posterity. When your images are hosted by someone else, your access is set by their terms, not yours. The site may be free when you upload your photos and become a for-pay site in the future. Will you want to pay a ransom for your own photographs?
- Social media sites themselves may claim rights to your posts. For example, Facebook acknowledges that users “own all of the content and information” they post. But its terms specify that users “grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use” anything you post there. It may seem a stretch to imagine Facebook using or selling your images or posts in objectionable ways. But why post all your images on a site where that’s a possibility?
5. Enjoy your valuables.
8 Reasons to Back up Your Genealogy Now
1. the time, money and effort you’ve invested in your research
2. spills, leaks and burst pipes
3. power failure
4. hardware failure
5. computer theft or loss
6. limited lifespan of digital storage
7. viruses, malware and hackers
Windows File History
Apple Time Machine
Carbon Copy Cloner
Acorns True Image
Digitally archive your photos and documents on-demand webinar
How to Archive Family Keepsakes by Denise Levenick
How to Archive Family Photos by Denise Levenick