How do you preserve your digital photos?

How do we preserve our stuff in the digital world? 

Stefan Thomas forgot the password to his $220 million of Bitcoin. James Howells is offering his city $70 million to allow him to find his old Bitcoin hard drive in the dump. Experts estimates that 3.8 million Bitcoins are lost forever – about $122 billion at today’s price.

Even with fortunes at stake, we lose digital assets. One of the open secrets of digital photography is that – despite our commitment to our “precious memories” – most of us have flimsy strategies for protecting them. I own two broken terabyte drives, and I have tapes, discs, diskettes and cartridges that are questionable. Like 35mm films, players are rare even now.

In this new year, it’s worth considering a strategy for preserving a family’s collective memories. At dotphoto, we advocate a three-pronged approach that ensures convenient access and security in even extreme situations: Cloud, Personal Off-Site Storage and Print.

1. Cloud Backup

Cloud Backup

Cloud backup is historically the most reliable storage. dotphoto enables our Club, Family and other paid members to upload file sizes up to 30MB each. Unlike other sites, dotphoto does not downsize photos, so you’re preserving your original files – not 100K downsized versions with little image detail. 

What about a “free” service? Besides the problem of routine downsizing and distracting advertising, formerly free services are changing. Google has announced photo storage plans of $1.99, $2.99 and $9.99 a month. The dotphoto Club Plan is only $1.67 a month for unlimited storage – and dotphoto does not monitor your habits and sell them to advertisers.

2. Personal Off-Site Storage
At dotphoto, you control your photos. Club and paid plan members can download and backup photos at any time. Simply enter an album, click on Organize and choose Download. We encourage you to keep a copy of your favorite photos in a bank deposit box, fire-proof safe or other secure place. You can create backups yourself, or use dotphoto’s SD Card Service to create an account backup. We recommend SD cards because they are used in most phones and cameras.

3. Print
Print remains one of the easiest ways to backup photos and convey meaning to the next generation. 4×6 prints and photo books are the most popular and inexpensive print backup tools. In addition to the pictures themselves, you may want to annotate the photo titles so that family members can understand the photos in the future. To edit photo titles in dotphoto, enter an album, choose Organize, choose Edit Titles, and tap Save Changes. You can also print titles directly on the back of 4×6 photos by choosing Print Options in MyAccount

You can design dotphoto books in any configuration, but a 12″x12″ book with 60 pages and six 4″x6″ landscape photos per page holds 360 photos. 4″x3″ photos in the same book expands the number to 720 photos per book.  How to make a dotphoto book

Author: dotphoto

Glenn Paul is President and Co-Founder of dotPhoto, which began life in 2000 as a photo printing service and now also distributes user-generated media in Flash, video and on cell phones.

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