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July 20, 2019 | 2:43am
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Protect your irreplaceable photos sitting in digital cameras and smartphones

Ask anyone who has lost or had a camera or smartphone stolen. It can be a seemingly helpless situation. Not only are you faced with the expense of replacing the device, but there is also the realization that those wedding, birthday, vacation and other photos of friends and family are now gone forever.

As we near the end of vacation season, this seems like a good time to learn how to be protected from such disasters.

Smartphones, tablets and computers are able to copy photos to what many like to refer to as “cloud storage.” In short, you get to copy your photo files to someone else’s bigger, better and faster computers. Popular services include Apple iCloud Drive, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.

In addition to storing your precious photos (and any other files for that matter) where you can always find them, these services make it easy to share those photos with family and friends.

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Apple’s iCloud is designed to work with Apple computers and iPhone smartphones. Support for Google Drive is built into Android smartphones. And OneDrive is built into Windows with support for Android and iPhone smartphones. Many of these services can be set to automatically upload new photos as soon as you connect to the internet via a Wi-Fi connection eliminating the potential for taking too long between uploading.

And those photos still on the memory card in your camera after all these months or years? Take the time to plug your camera into a computer (or insert the memory card into it), copy your files to the computer’s drive and then upload them to a cloud storage service.

But, you may ask, why not use a thumb drive or external drive or burn the files onto CDs or DVDs? They are all certainly better solutions than doing nothing but as experts will tell you, all storage devices will fail — it is not a matter of if but when. Even CDs and DVDs hold the same risk. The substrate the data is burned into decays over time, leaving your files in a precarious state of maybe or maybe not being able to be retrieved.

One of the biggest benefits of cloud storage services is your files are being backed up and the storage hardware managed by people who are likely much better at doing such things than you are.

Ferndale Public Library computers are equipped with USB connections and memory card readers. While library patrons are not able to download software onto library computers, you can access cloud storage services and upload your files through the usual internet browser software already installed on the library computers.

Do not wait to learn this lesson the hard way, protect your memories today.

This story has been provided as a public service from My Ferndale News. This is not an endorsement of any of the products or services mentioned.


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