Backing Up your Photos-2

The Importance of Backing Up Your Photos

Expert Guest Blog Post – The importance of backing up your photos

This is a guest blog post from Jamie of Woop IT with some basic guidelines about the importance of backing up your photos.

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Data loss – we’ve likely all been affected by it in some form. From losing your progress on a word document thanks to a badly timed crash, a failed hard drive caused by a puppy pulling the PC over, ransomware encryption, accidental deletion, device being stolen even flood damaged we’ve seen it all over the years.

I’m a careful person, why would I lose files?

Believe it or not, accidentally deleting files is one of the most common causes of data loss. It happens to the best of us. But it isn’t always down to human error; some of the other most common causes of data loss include viruses and damaging malware, as well as mechanical failures such as the aforementioned dreaded hard drive failure.

In this day and age, there’s no excuse for not having a backup handy whenever something goes wrong – whatever the reason.

But why should I care?

If you’re at peace with the concept of losing your family photos library when your PC fails, then that’s fair enough.

But what about when your livelihood is at stake?

Professional photographers, for instance, can store thousands of pounds worth of photos at a time. Losing this kind of data would be career damaging, to say the least. Statistics have even shown that 60% of companies which suffer from large scale data loss will shut down within 6 months of the incident.

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Ok, so which backup method should I use?

When it comes to backing up, there’s a basic philosophy you should live by: the more the merrier.

Don’t be satisfied with a simple “one and done” solution. You may copy your entire photo library over to the cloud, but there’s still a good chance of losing both the original files and their cloud based counterparts.

When dealing with valuable data, Woop recommends a bare minimum of two backup methods: one professional cloud based storage system, so your files are encrypted, and replicated across multiple data centres.  and one external hard drive, to be stored in an off-site location. It may seem dramatic, but you can’t buy back your lost data with insurance money if your original storage device gets destroyed in a house fire. Backing up is all about being prepared for unexpected circumstances, after all. But remember, your backup is only as good as your last test. We provide the added value of restoring your data into a virtual environment so that you can check and confirm you are happy it’s all there, not that we have had an issue in 5 years.

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So why not use Google drive and Dropbox personal editions?

Time and time again we have seen clients rely heavily on a personal version of online sync and share providers such as Google Drive and Dropbox . The clue should be in the name, it’s not professional backup and should never be treated this way. We have seen end users delete a file from one device thinking that this has only been cleared on their laptop so you can guess their distress when they realised that this action replicated across all devices and everything was gone! Now you can go back a certain amount of days to recover deleted files, but what happens if the file was deleted 3, 6, 9 even 24 months ago and you require an important contract to be recovered, for that all important dispute. You have no chance.

Also a virus in the sync folder, does exactly that synchronises across all your devices. At this stage we would hope you have adequate security in place but that’s for another blog.

How much is all of this going to cost?

In terms of hard drives, Western Digital “My Passport” Drives are amongst the most reliable and affordable brands, that we have personally used over the years offering 2TB for around the £70-£80 price point. That’s easily enough to cover personal files, but it’s worth looking into how much storage space you’re already using, along with how much more you’ll likely need. It’s much more cost effective to buy one big hard drive than it is to keep buying smaller ones as and when you need them. Estimate what’s right for you, and you’ll benefit in the long run.

As for cloud based storage, this will depend on how much data you are backing up, it’s usually priced per GB of storage, so in many cases if you are only backing up word and excel documents it can cost less than a cup of coffee a month!

Words & Woop Image © Woop IT Dec 2017, Photos © Original Art Photography Dec 2017

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(Views are the guest author’s & don’t necessarily represent those of Original Art Photography)

3 thoughts on “The Importance of Backing Up Your Photos”

  1. Pingback: GDPR Guide for Photographers - Get your business GDPR compliant

  2. Steven Gosling

    What about if you are a travelling photographer with no regular broadband so cloud based options are not workable?

    This is my situation and backing up gigs of data via a phone data is simply not possible. Even backing up gigs of data over a fast broadband is a slow job.

    In my instance I have 2 Western Digital portable drives with one as my primary and other as backup with a regular backup regime.

    However one of the drives failed recently, then the back up also failed a week later. Both drives were the same brand, bought at the same time and probably the same batch. So advice is if you backup between drives, don’t buy the same brand, buy different brands. I was lucky and bought a £24 piece of Recovery software which recovered about 95% of my photos.

    After the above I now have a third back which filters only the PSD files and backs them up to a third drive.

    1. Good point Steven, thanks for raising this and sharing your experience. Your suggestions sound sensible to me. One other option might be to burn key files to disc every so often and mail the discs home, perhaps. Or, do a similar thing with USB drives that you send home. If you then have someone to receive them they could upload them to a cloud system that you could access remotely.

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