If we are Facebook friends, you know I've been posting photos of our recent family vacation. Normally, I wouldn't subject everyone to our "boring vacation photos," but my reason for posting them online are two-fold. One: I enjoy revisiting the trip (it was a blast), and two: by posting them online, I've created an additional backup of the photos.
No one wants to think something will ever happen to those precious photos on their computer, but the reality is that at some point, your computer will die. It will die a slow and miserable death. You will feel it in the pit of your stomach as those wonderful photos you've stored on your computer's hard drive will be gone in seconds.
I lost my last computer a couple years ago. My initial thought was "Crap, I'll have to invest in a new computer, I'll have to reload all the software, set everything back up, and it's going to be a pain in the butt." The one thing that was NOT going through my head was, "OMG, I've just lost every photo I've ever taken."
I like to back my photos up, and I'd like to think I'm pretty thorough in my process.
1. External hard drives. I actually have two per time frame. For 2013 and prior to that, there is a labeled master external drive and a second identical external drive. Same for 2014 to present. Why two? Like your computer drive, external drives may also fail. Been there, done that. External memory is reasonably priced. Get yours today and sleep tight knowing those photos are safe.
2. Online storage. I use my website server for unlimited storage, but there are many many sources out there: Carbonite, Dropbox, Google, Amazon, and more. There's usually a fee involved, but it is well worth it. Do your homework and find the right service for your needs.
3. Prints. I try to make prints of my favorite photos monthly, but I'm currently way behind. I'm OK with that, however, because I still have the other backups in place. I'll catch up once the kids are back in school.
4. Facebook. I wouldn't rely on this as my only means for saving photos, but it is a convenient backup.
So you may have noticed CDs were not listed in my backup plan. I'm not saying they are a bad backup method, however, I don't rely on them because the media is becoming obsolete. My computer doesn't even have a CD drive. CDs can scratch, become unreadable, break and become lost. You can still use them as a backup but do so knowing these things.
It's easy to preserve those vacation memories. All you have to do is have a backup plan.