I’d like to thank planetMitch for allowing this post on his informative website. It’s my go-to site for information about cameras and photo technology ever since I read this post about a great adventure shot entirely on an iPhone camera.
While there are some film purists out there, digital photography has allowed more access in the world of photography than any other development in recent history. It allows people to not have to worry about running out of film on vacation, lets families create cherished memories, and perhaps most important, allows a massive amount of photos to be taken and stored for later use.
Yet digital photos also have the same problem as all other digital media in that they are at risk of being the target of a cyberattack or some sort of internet criminal activity. If you’ve worked hard on building up your photo albums, you do not want someone else stealing them or looking at them without your express permission. You need to find a way to safely keep your photos under lock. Luckily, there are technologies out there that allow you to do that.
Here are a few tools and methods that you can use to safely secure your digital photos:
Know Basic Security Tips
You can try all of the fancy methods and programs you want to, but if you don’t have a good internet security foundation, you are going to find that something happens to your photos much faster than you can imagine. You need to know the basics, such as having a good password and maintaining your privacy online. You absolutely need to have an internet security program or two installed on your computer so you don’t have to deal with data-corrupting malware and viruses every day.
The key to internet security lies in good habits. Do a full check of all of your files (especially your photos) right now, and take note of where everything is and how many photos you have. Do an overnight scan of your computer every week or two to nullify any threats on your computer. Read up on the latest trends in internet security so that you can know what to potentially expect in the future. Don’t use risky websites, and know that there are a lot of people on the internet who are trying to scam you.
Use a Virtual Private Network
If you are taking photos on a smartphone or some other device that can connect to the internet and send photos someplace else, you should know that using a public network for such purposes can be incredibly risky. The reason for this is that public networks are rarely secure, and hackers with simple equipment can sit down and intercept any data that travels over it, including photo data and account data (which can then be used against you).
For this reason, you are going to want to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which will protect you while you are using a public network (or any network you are unsure about) by connecting your smartphone or laptop to an offsite secure server using an encrypted connection. This will hide your identity online,which is always helpful, but most important, it will keep your photos safe by making sure that no one can intercept them. There are lots of options out there, so it might be best to look up some VPN reviews in order to keep your digital photos under lock and key.
Use Physical Media Instead of the Cloud
If there is anything we’ve learned from headlines in recent years, it is that the cloud is unreliable when it comes to matters of security. In addition to this, think about what would happen if their servers were compromised and shut down. Would you ever be able to get your data back? It is much safer to keep your data in your own hands, so you have complete control over your photos and who sees them.
This means that to store and back up your photos you are going to want to rely on physical media, and you are going to want to use more than the SD card in your digital camera. One great solution is to use an external hard drive to store all of your photos and lock it away should you have a lot of them. Flash drives might be more expensive per GB of storage, but if you don’t have too many yet, it will get you by just fine. You may want to put password protections on your storage if you are feeling extra cautious, but keeping the devices in a safe place will do fine in most cases.
When making your backups, try to be redundant in your storage and your security. If you are using a combination locked flash drive, then password protect it as well. Make at least two copies of every digital photo you want to keep safe and put them in different places. Something will eventually happen or there will be a hardware failure. If you are prepared for it, you will just need to buy a new hard drive or other storage device. If you aren’t, then you will have to worry about losing all of your photos for good.
Thank you for reading, and may you continue your passion with a sense of security and a clear head.
(cover photo credit: Cassie Phillips)