Five Tips for Future-Proofing Your Digital Media

Protecting your digital media from damage, disaster, or accidental deletion couldn’t be more important. Technology is moving forward at a phenomenal rate. More of us than ever before are converting tapes to digital formats. While this is a great way to preserve memories in the long term, it’s not entirely risk-free. Hard drives can fail. And that means you could eventually lose your memories. Being prepared, therefore, is important. Nobody wants to lose all their digital data, so how can you future-proof it?

1. Using Cloud Solutions

One way of keeping data safe that is becoming more popular is the use of cloud storage solutions. Thanks to cloud storage, people can store data online. There are redundant backup systems in place to ensure data remain safe and accessible. However, there’s a downside. If your Internet is unavailable, access to those files is impossible. Cloud storage is very convenient. However, you should not depend on it entirely as a sole backup source. You should also use local backup sources. This will guarantee you’ll always have access to your files.

2. Make Backups at Home Regularly

For top results, it’s best to place data on a minimum of two drives, preferably three. You should store these in different geographical areas. You may want to keep one in a safe deposit box for extra peace of mind. Then, if one drive goes down, it’ll still be possible to access the media from a secondary source.

3. Don’t Forget Your Mobile Devices

These days, people take many excellent videos and photos on their smartphones. That means you mustn’t forget to back up the data from your phone consistently, too. It’s equally important to do this as it is to back up your laptop or PC. Some phones have a feature that backs up the data automatically when it’s plugged into a computer. 

4. Future-proof Files

Backups will only ever be useful when you have the software necessary to read them. You need to make sure you’ve future-proofed those files. Copy the files into a more versatile format. This will give you the best chance of being able to open them in the future. The best option is to choose file formats that are readable with today’s open-source software.

5. Maintain Your Storage Media

Whether you’re using DVDs, flash drives, or hard drives, you need to maintain them properly. If one fails, you must immediately replace it. Long term, it makes sense to move data off storage media when new technologies become mainstream. For example, data that you stored on floppy disks are now unreadable. Writable DVDs are rapidly heading down the same path. Therefore, if you’ve got your data stored on those, consider transferring them to flash drives or the cloud now.

When you convert your tapes and film to digital, you now know how to future-proof them. Follow this advice, and you should find that your digital media files are well-protected. You’ll still be able to enjoy them for many years to come.

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James Nordby