6 Threats To Your Photos

6 Threats To Your Photos

There are a number of ways your photos are at risk:

  1. Stickies and ickies
    • Your printed images or slides are at risk from acid, damp, light and lignin
      • Acid found most commonly in old magnetic photo albums, from the ink in pens used to label images and from other glues used in older albums. Also found in the oils in your fingers and surprisingly even the old photo packets from the developers store!
      • Damp lurks in your garage or attic and quickly seeps into your storage boxes and attracts mould!
      • Light not exactly sticky or icky but especially in Australia in our sun flooded homes where we proudly display our favourite images on the wall photos are at risk from light damage (mainly fading and bleaching). Be sure to make copies of the images before hanging them in direct light as over time you see them yellow and fade more quickly than you would think.
      • Lignin – many papers including newspapers are made from wood pulp which contains a substance called lignin. As lignin breaks down it becomes more acidic. Check your storage products for acid and lignin
  2. Natural disasters
    • This one is kind of captain obvious, but if you only have one copy of your photos printed or digital then they are at risk from natural disasters like bush fires, flood, etc.  I have a friend who is a fire fighter and he often is required to restrain people trying to go back into burning buildings to save family photos.
  3. OOPS factor
    • I quite often get what I call ‘fat finger’ syndrome, another friend of mine refers to it as ‘needy cat’ syndrome.  We are all human and I am sure many of you can relate to a key stroke error, an accidental deletion of files, maybe dropping or losing a hard drive or even the dreaded phone in the toilet accident.
  4. Menacing mechanics
    • Many people fail to remember that computer (and phone) hard drives are mechanical devices with moving parts.  Just like a washing machine with moving parts they can and over time, will wear out and then your data (aka your photos) are at risk of being irretrievable.
  5. Chaos causing corruptions
    • Viruses, power surges, computer and operating systems errors, bad memory card readers can all cause corrupt unreadable files.
  6. Bad dudes
    • The sad truth is that people steal… phones, laptops, etc.  If your photos are ONLY in one place (aka said device) and it gets stolen, your photos are gone!

The good news is that you can put simple measures in place to avoid these threats!

  1. Store your precious prints and slides in acid free containers, out of the light and away from moisture
  2. Scan and digitise old prints and slides to enable you to create a back up copies
  3. Turn on your cloud back up
  4. 5.  & 6. Back up your files in 2 places separated by geography and note the date of purchase of back up drives with the intent to update within 5 years.

Learn more about these strategies in our eBooks, purchase online today

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