How to keep your digital photos safe

Your photos are the likely to be the most precious digital assets you own. They’re special and you can’t replace them.

But how many people lose them each year? A lost phone, a broken PC, a failed hard drive, an accidental deletion etc.

This is an avoidable tragedy.

Here’s my guide to never losing your digital photos.

Start using Google Photos

This is amazing must-have software. And it’s free. Install Google Photos on your phone and Mac/PC and it silently,. automatically backs up your photos.

That's not all. At photos.google.com you can search your photos for things like "beach" or "tree" and it'll magically find them. Robots, eh?

As a bonus, it also works with iPhone Live Photos (the moving, Harry Potter style ones).

Seriously, do it.

Other phone backup options

I also use Dropbox in two ways. Firstly, my master photos library is stored in a Dropbox folder on my mac. So every photo is backed up tot the cloud. And secondly, I set the Dropbox iPhone app to back up my photos too. That way if I were to lose my phone, my photos would be safe

Handling a crashed PC

Macs and PCs fail, so although your photos will already be safe on the cloud, restoring your computer is easier with a full local backup. On a mac, this is easy – just switch on Time Machine. It's free and comes with your mac. For a desktop, keep the external hard drive (or two) connected all the time.

Disaster scenario

God forbid, but if you are burgled or get fire/water damage, you don't want to lose all your data. I recommend using CrashPlan as a final backup backstop. It's $5 pcm and effortlessly, continuously backs up 5 computers to a remote server. Great to install for family members.

Avoid hackers

There has been a rise recently in ransomware – malicious software that encrypts your hard disk until you hand over thousands of dollars. This is horrible. This backup strategy will protect you from losing your photos, but in any case be sure to always update your pc or phone whenever you're prompted to do so. Security updates are boring but necessary.

Finally, go old school

Print your favourite photos. It's always nice and something we all do less often nowadays. Places like Photobox will help you make albums and I recommend the TouchNote app which lets you send any picture on your phone as a postcard.