A lot of New Year’s Resolutions revolve around getting organized. If you surf Pinterest you will see millions of ideas for getting your house, closet, car, basement, attic, kitchen, bath and just about anything else you can think of organized. There are also countless Pins for getting your paperwork and photos organized after you get done with your drawers and cupboards.
Being in the insurance business for 20+ years makes one look at organization differently. I always approach it with the question if my house (or office) is destroyed what paper files need scanned and backed up offsite and what electronic files need backed up offsite? Many years ago, a dear friend of mine taught me to back things up 3 ways. Considering 1 backup method could fail but it is unlikely all 3 would fail, this method has served me well for many years.
The insurance business hands out a fair amount of disasters. From toilets that overflow ruining everything in the water’s path to houses and businesses that catch fire. I know natural disasters happen every day all around the world. Our beloved NC is a hot bed for hurricanes and has seen tornado activity in recent years.
While digital pictures have been around for years, 99% of the people I know store them on their cell phone with the occasional friend who stores them on her personal laptop. Personally, I have dropped a cell phone in a toilet and driven away with one on the bumper of a car. Instant crash and burn. There are so many free ways you can back up your pictures make it this week’s resolution to create at least one additional backup for your digital pics.
Digital photos at my house have a process they move through.
- Photos taken on my phone are automatically backed up via Dropbox. This is a very simple set up after you open a free Dropbox account download the app on your phone. When you sign into the app it will ask you if you want to upload the photos and videos automatically. The only downside of this set up is that there is limited free space via Dropbox. That brings me to the second part of the process.
- If they are taken on my camera they are uploaded to my cloud storage. I use Microsoft One Drive. I also systematically take my pics from Dropbox and move them to my cloud storage. That keeps enough space in Dropbox so my pictures will upload automatically from my cell phone.
- Every quarter I copy my pics from my cloud storage to an external hard drive. My external is 1 TB but they now sell larger ones for very inexpensive so if you need one buy the most storage space you can afford.
- While I said I backup 3 times I actually keep a duplicate external hard drive offsite. I copy to this external about every 6 months. This external is stored in a cabinet at my office. Crazy but technically that makes 4 backups. This 4th one provides an additional layer of off site.
You may be thinking four backups is a little neurotic but these are precious memories of everything from my children’s 1st birthday to our family Disney trip and their first day of school. I am not taking any chances of a technical difficulty erasing all my pictures. The truth is it is such a quick process there is no reason not to be careful. Years ago, this was a time intensive mess but now it is relatively seamless.
Happy Backing Up – oh if you need ideas for cloud based storage click here for a great article from the folks at Techlicious.