Let’s discuss… keeping your backups safe

by | Blog Archive | 22 comments

We talk a lot in memory keeping about backing up photos and other digital archives in case of hard drive failure, theft or worse. However, we don’t talk much about making sure the backup copies will actually be there when you need them.

Today I’d like to discuss how to keep your backups safe and secure. Whether you backup to DVD, external hardd rive or the cloud, I want to hear how to add a layer of protection to your system.

  • Do you DVDs live in cases, sleeves or a binder?
  • Are your hard drives in a fire proof box or at your moms?
  • Do you double check your cloud storage to verify it is working?
  • Do you create new copies periodically?

Please leave a comment below sharing your strategy for backing up and how you protect your investment.

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  1. Beth

    What’s Cloud Storage? Sounds interesting.

    • Jennifer

      That means using a service like Mozy to keep a copy of your documents on the Internet.

  2. Lisa

    I back up all my photos and layouts to an EHD and also to Picasa (it’s manual compared to Mozy or Carbonite). I do it once or twice a month. It’s easy to access them from anywhere once on Picasa and I can also share with my family and friends too.

  3. ToadToedPrincess

    I back up with Carbonite and use a 2TB EHD which I keep in a safe.My layouts are backed up with one psd and two jpeg files, one is sized for the web. I have back ups for all of my presets and stash of tutorials also. I back up every week no matter what.

  4. Tara S.

    On my old system, I backed up to Mozy throughout the day automatically and had an EHD that I manually did (when I remembered! Bad!). I just switched to a MacBook a week ago and am looking at MobileMe for Cloud and using the Time Machine and an EHD for local backup storage. I also use Picasa too. I had too many crashes and am paranoid πŸ™‚

  5. Sarah

    I have my photos backed up on an EHD, and also use Mozy to protect my data. I know some printers (like Persnickety) offer free storage space, too, so uploading to their site means your hi-res files are safe.

  6. Sue

    I’ve had Carbonite for years and finally had to use it when I got my new laptop…very disappointed. It might be how I organize my folders…the most important (10) are on my desktop instead of my document folder. It took the main folders and whatever was inside ended up on my desktop (over 500 folders). It doesn’t recognize main folders. eeeeeeeek! I have to contact support to ask them how to store my folders.

  7. Rebecca W

    Right now everything sits on a “server” that has RAID storage. We are working on the online backup of everything as well, but haven’t had the money yet. Praying is my primary source! I need to get better, but we need the job/money first.

  8. Alison

    I have an EHD which I back up only monthly (I need to be more regular – weekly). I just got a fire proof safe I would like to store it in. I’d also like to get another EHD to swap with my sister in the USA. I have one of hers. I also try to get my monthly favourites up to the free Walmart photo site. I need to go back through the years pre 2008 though. I also need to look into back up for my digi files – should I be doing just the original zip folder or the unzipped folders? Any suggestions? I’m hearing so much about backup lately I’m beginning to feel paranoid – so I’m also considering a cloud type program.

    • Jennifer

      I like to store the unzipped folders. I think the problems of those becoming corrupt are less than they used to be, but also zipping doesn’t really compress images, so you’re not saving any file size.

  9. purplejamie

    Every file backed up at least once a month to EHD. A couple of times a year photos and layouts burned to dvd and stored at my Mum’s house (not often enough I know).

  10. Vickie

    I back up to an external hard drive monthly. I also keep pictures on a flash drive and Shutterfly. Can you tell me what’s the advantage to using something like Mozy over Shutterfly? Also what is best- a flash drive or burning to a disk?

    • Jennifer

      I’m not sure that Shutterfly will let you recover your full resolution images, but I could be wrong about that. Mozy, on the other hand, is meant for recovery vs. routine retrieval.

      While solid state memory (as in a Flash drive) is known to be more reliable, a small Flash drive is more easily lost than a DVD.

  11. j.leija

    I back up all of my photos onto my external hard drive. Then, my external hard drive is backed up on Mozy.

    I’d say a huge advantage for anyone backing up on Mozy, is that you can get an entirely new external hard drive with all of your flies loaded onto, should anything go wrong. You don’t have the files if you’re using Shutterfly, you’d have to save them all down again and the resolution could be compromised.

  12. Tara S.

    Another benefit to backing up to something other than a photo site is that all of your files are safer. Including psd’s, pdf’s, Word docs, Excel Docs and all of those scrapping files that include brushes, patterns, styles, actions.

  13. ava-j

    I burn my zip files onto DVD’s soon after they’re downloaded (but which I know I should move to an outside location!). My photos and digi-scrap supplies are saved onto an EHD, that’s backed up on yet another EHD. I would love online storage too, but until i can afford it, this system will have to do for now. πŸ™‚

  14. Chris O

    I always upload my pictures to Costco, that way if something happened to my computer or my copies of pictures I have them, full resolution there and can always order a CD. If my house burned to the ground, they would still have all of my pictures.
    I also scan older pictures and upload the scans there to be safe.

  15. Melissa

    I’ve just done a post about this on my blog the other week! http://blog.mshanhun.com/2011/01/back-up-your-data-with-mozy-and-save-10.html

    Over the years I’ve used floppy disks, CD’s, DVDs, USB sticks and external hard discs to back up my files. I do still use an external HDD, but with so much data (and the fact that I don’t like to use the system backup on my computer, so I do my backups manually), an automated online system – I chose Mozy seemed like a simple thing to add to my backup regime.

    I also want to use Flickr as another backup for my photos.

    • Jamie (@va_grown)

      I just posted a series about this too! Mostly because I’m trying to implement a new system for the New Year. I use Flickr as my main storage, with CD backup at home. I really like it because I have access to my pictures on any computer that has internet access and it integrates with print service.

  16. Melissa

    Oh and I also took a DVD of wedding and the first days of my bub’s life over to my mum’s place as a backup πŸ™‚ Plus they enjoyed having a copy! πŸ™‚

  17. Judy

    An interesting post and comments. Oddly enough, I have just written a firsthand account of my experiences in a post called ‘Natural Disasters and Family History’ at Genealogy Leftovers.

  18. Candace

    I have used carbonite for years. It is automatic. I also have an EHD. I am paranoid about loosing my photos and quicken bookkeeping as well.



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