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Let's Talk Tech

How to Back Up Your Life

Rare photo

Family photos, high school yearbooks, and baby books.

Digitize your photos and save them in the cloud. Start first by investing in an online storage service. Try Box, iCloud, or Carbonite, but there are many, many others. Don’t use CDs, DVDs, or thumb drives (flash drives). They will eventually become corrupt over time and can also be damaged by water and fire or lost and stolen.

It may take time, but invest in a simple photo scanner. You can purchase one for as low as $100. Portable scanners like the VuPoint Scan Magic Wand with Wi-fi are often easier to maneuver when copying large diploma’s, photo albums, or poster-sized photos still in frames. When you’re done, your scans are saved to a microSD card or you can automatically transfer files to a computer using WiFi.

If you’re not up to a time-consuming do-it-yourself project, and the thought of sitting for hours scanning decades of photos feels like too much of a chore, consider services from a company like Scancafe.com. Mail your photos to them and for $.29 cents/scan your order will be ready to review online in 4-6 weeks from the time they receive them. You only have to pay for the scans that you decide to keep, and they will return your originals 10-14 days after you check out. With expedited service, you can review and check out your photos after 8-10 days.

Remember that online storage should not be the only backup, but one component in an overall storage strategy. Some experts recommend leaving photos on your hard drive for safekeeping as well.

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