Pictures are more than just an image, they capture a moment in time that becomes a precious memory to revisit and share with others for a lifetime. Although, unfortunately they are also one of the few possessions that is impossible to replace. While printed paper photographs have largely take a back seat to digital ones, the need to carefully protect and preserve them remains the same.

Here are a few ways to ensure your precious memories will be around for generations to enjoy.

1.    Optical Storage (CD and DVD)

Two popular types of optical storage are CDs and DVDs, and are available in both “Recordable or R” and Rewriteable or RW’ formats. While either can be used, the “R” format is a better option to avoid accidental over-writing. Be sure to store them in a safe location.

2.    Magnetic Storage

Typically known as a “hard drive or hard disk”, this type of storage can be built into your computer or used an external, portable option that plugs into your computer via USB. It is stable storage with a variety of capacity options. However, this type of store can “crash” or malfunction leading to a loss of your photos. If you do select this type of storage, be sure to have a backup using another method or a second hard drive stored outside your home.

3.    Solid State Storage

Flash drives are an inexpensive, convenient option to store and transport files. Simple to use plug and play functionality make these small devices are a popular choice for storing photos. However, because they can easily be lost, damaged or erased, they are not the best long-term storage option.

4.    Cloud Storage

Cloud services are now a widely available and affordable option. Popular storage options like Dropbox, Amazon Drive, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Apple iCloud typically offer a small amount of storage for free with additional storage options available by subscription. Cloud storage with these reputable companies is safe, secure and simple to use.

5.    M-DISC

M-DISC is an archival-quality storage solution for photos. It is designed to protect your photos for 1000 years. M-DISC can be used just like optical storage media (CDs and DVDs). The M-DISC stores your information by engraving your data in “stone” (a patented rock-like layer) and remains unaffected by temperature, humidity and light. In addition, it allows you to maintain control of your data availability and privacy.

Note: Follow the Rule of Three

It is a good idea to have at least three copies of your photos. Use different media types and store at least one copy somewhere other than your home.

Whichever method you choose, don’t delay! Preserve your precious memories before it’s too late. Then be sure to check with your Cole Harrison agent to review how your homeowners policy to make sure the rest of your precious possessions are covered if the worst should happen.

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