Are Your Digital Photos Safe?

Digital-Photo-Safety-Storage-Creative Memories

Moment of truth – how many photos have you taken on your phone in the last year? Seriously, take a second to contemplate it… Now, how many of those photos did you print? And how many of them did you back-up?

According to a recent article, approximately one-third of iPhones suffer accidental damage or get broken each year. The most common causes of damage? Falling out of the user’s hand or lap, falling into liquid or having liquid spilled on it, and getting knocked off a table. So, what can you do to keep your precious digital photos safe? We’ve got a few ideas…

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We have all had phones break and computers fail… rather than hoping your favorite milestone moments will be safe and available forever, there are easy, affordable things you can do to ensure they will be.

Check out these tips from the New York Times and National Geographic Photographer Ami Vitale, who knows a little something about losing prized pics. Hint: automatic backups are your friend; it’s smart to have more than one storage option and social media is not safe, full-resolution storage.

Here’s an at-a-glance reference for you:


Since most people don’t have a gigabyte-to-photo converter in their heads, you may be wondering how much storage you need based on your number of photos.

Below is a handy chart from Sandisk based on jpeg files, the most common format for consumer cameras. As a reminder, most smartphone photos are 12-16 Megapixels.


So if you have 12 Megapixel images and a 2 Terabyte storage option, you can store close to half a million photos. So all your bases are covered, Ami recommends combining an auto-backup solution with an external hard drive. See recommendation from Wirecutter here.

So what can you expect to pay? For a high-performing, reliable external drive you’ll shell out between $65-120. Then, if you’ve got lots of photos you can expect a monthly fee of $0.99 – $9.99 for up to two Terabytes, which is a pretty fair price for peace of mind.

And once you know your treasured photos are secure, it’s easier to get them organized and into albums so you and your family can enjoy them again and again.

So, those are our ideas… what are yours? Comment below and tell us how you keep your digital photos safe!

14 thoughts on “Are Your Digital Photos Safe?

  1. Great information. Instead of paying something for the rest of my life (with the possibility that my account will be deleted upon my death or when I stop paying) I would rather pay once for permanence and privacy – Forever for cloud storage for me!

  2. Forever is definitely a better option in my opinion. No data mining, safe, secure, full resolution, and a one-time fee then the account is yours for your lifetime plus 100 years. The most important thing to remember, is to read the terms of service for any cloud storage you decide to use. Make sure that you keep your digital rights to your photos and they are prepared to migrate your images with the next photo format. So many things to consider and be aware of.

  3. I use Forever but as they say, it’s only for your best photos, So I also use Backblaze. I need my computer backed up anyway so it’s great to have my photos on auto backup as well.

  4. I agree that Forever is the best option. They are mine for my lifetime plus 100 years. I don’t have to worry about restoring from Backblaze (which I also use), or my external hard drive crashing (which I’ve experienced). The apple, google, Amazon’s etc accounts will kick you off if you don’t use them or don’t pay. Those photos are then lost. Not true with forever.

  5. None of the options listed above are safe, secure or guaranteed. FOREVER is the only company that offers a life-time guarantee of permanently storing your photos in a safe & secure environment. And they don’t sell or use your personal data. (data mining) And you pay once and you’re done. Not like the options above where you will pay for the rest of your life.

  6. Educate yourself on what these solutions offer/don’t offer before relying on them to keep your photos safe – if your goal is to keep photos safe beyond your lifetime, so future generations can actually enjoy them and the stories that go with them (without scrapbooking)…then take the time to read about the Forever guarantee and the terms of use on their site… You’d be surprised what others don’t offer…

  7. I’m so glad that CM is addressing this and has given this breakdown information – and I’m also glad I can take this a few steps further in helping to educate those that read this blog about Forever’s permanent secure & 1 year of monthly payments or one time payment option, not a lifetime of monthly payments. Be sure to read the fine print of all these companies!

  8. I have used Legacy Republic for digitizing my photos, negatives, slides, 8mms, Super 8s, and reel-to-reel, and they have not only done a fabulous job (they have the top Memory Factory in the World, here in the US) but private, shareable cloud storage is included free in the cost of digitizing.Now I am working on digitizing my completed scrapbooks so they too can be digitizied (without having to send them anywhere!) in my home, and then they too will be placed into private shareable cloud storage to share with friends and family. I would love to answer questions if anyone wants more info.

  9. I’m wondering why Creative Memories got rid of Story Book Creator & Memory Manager. These programs were Very User Friendly, Forever Historian is Not User Friendly. I can’t scan my photos into it, although, if I get on my old computer & I still can use these programs. I don’t like to as my old computer is not supported by Microsoft, it is Vista. I have found that unless my photos are already on my computer, Historian is a waste of money.

  10. Forever Historian and Artisan are Storybook Creator and Memory Manager made better. I’m not sure why you are unable to scan, mine still does. If you have Historian you may want to call support at Forever and see if they can help you. It is a great photo organizing and editing program with a star rating to be sure you get just the best of the best photos saved & hopefully uploaded to the safe & secure Forever Storage account. I’d be glad to help if you’d like to email me.

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