Technology

How to Protect Your Digital Content

Tips on safeguarding your files from hackers.

When your photos, slides and videos have been converted to digital files, your next task is to organize and store them so they’re backed up and safe from hackers, a virus or a technical mishap. This is also a good time to corral the digital photos scattered among various computers, phones and e-mail accounts.

Organize. Start by collecting the digital images in a photo-organization program, such as Picasa or iPhoto, that will allow you to organize, label and edit your images. Both Picasa and iPhoto are nondestructive programs, meaning they don’t compress the files and lose data each time an item is saved. Name each file to help you find it later. The Association of Personal Photo Organizers recommends a year-month-day-event format to make searching easier. You can also add the names of people, where the photo was taken or other keywords by using the “info” feature in iPhoto or adding captions and tags in Picasa.

Back up. To protect your collection for posterity, redundancy is key. You can keep files on your computer for easy access, but to prevent losing them to natural and technological disasters, back them up both offline and in the cloud. You can back up files on an external hard drive (disconnect it from your computer after each backup) or burn the files to archival-quality, “gold” CDs or DVDs. These discs resist oxidation, corrosion and scratches and last longer than traditional discs. A cloud service such as Dropbox ($10 a month for 1 terabyte of storage) adds another layer of safety.

Store. You may want to keep the original photos, or at least some of them. In addition to the emotional reasons for not tossing the originals, some people keep them indefinitely in case new technology improves scanning abilities, says Curtis Bisel, founder of Scanyourentirelife.com. Keep the originals in acid- and lignin-free boxes or envelopes. You can find protective storage options at Gaylord Archival, Hollinger and University Products.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
The 12 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for 2022
tech stocks

The 12 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for 2022

The best tech-sector picks for the year to come include plays on some of the most exciting emergent technologies, as well as several old-guard mega-ca…
January 3, 2022
How to Know When You Can Retire
retirement

How to Know When You Can Retire

You’ve scrimped and saved, but are you really ready to retire? Here are some helpful calculations that could help you decide whether you can actually …
January 5, 2022

Recommended

What Is the Metaverse (And How Can I Invest?)
Technology

What Is the Metaverse (And How Can I Invest?)

Metaverses have actually been around in some form for decades. Facebook and others will try to bring the technology into the world’s everyday lives.
January 7, 2022
Is Budgeting Overrated?
Budgeting

Is Budgeting Overrated?

Take it from a financial planner, not everyone needs a budget. In fact, sometimes a budget can distract you from the real solutions to your financial …
January 6, 2022
Last-minute Gifts That Save Money All Year
spending

Last-minute Gifts That Save Money All Year

Supply chain issues may not have motivated you to buy early and now you’re panicked. No need to worry; we’ve got you covered.
December 9, 2021
2021 Holiday Tipping Guide: 18 People You Should Remember
Basics

2021 Holiday Tipping Guide: 18 People You Should Remember

Service workers deserve special recognition for the help they provide during COVID. That makes holiday tipping all the more important this year.
December 3, 2021