One of the most important lessons that people have learned in the digital age is that storage can be fleeting. Unless you have a space in the cloud that is attached to a solid vendor or website, you may have already had the experience where you have lost some of your digital photos.

Here are some tips on how to keep your priceless family photos safe in the cloud:

Prioritize and Organize Accordingly

If you are trying to preserve family photos that have historical value, you might consider getting a digital account at your local bank. Several banks offer this service and will allow you to upload your pictures and save them forever as if it were a digital safe deposit box. The only downside to using a bank is that it can sometimes be a little bit more of a process to add things to your box or remove them because of the extra security. Another consideration is that they tend to cost more than regular web storage.

For the bulk of the items that are from everyday photo shoots that you have done, you might consider one of the free or inexpensive sites that allows you to upload a certain number of photos. Google, Apple, Yahoo, and Microsoft are all good examples of companies that have users that uploaded photos for over a decade without losing one piece of data. Which, for most people is a pretty good deal.

Check Security on the Sites You Select

While you are choosing a site to put the bulk of your photos on, another consideration that is important is how secure the site is. Plenty of celebrities found out over the past few years that even with encrypted cell phones and secure storage, it is possible for someone to get your passwords and log in and take photos. In the wake of that type of experience, a couple of security notions that became popular are two factor authentication and multiple layers of permission when you share a photo. Two factor authentication is simply a system that uses two types of passwords or login identifiers to make certain that you are who you say. Multiple layers of permission are normally applicable to sites that lend themselves well to social media and let you decide what type of access each person you specify can have. Both types of security are available on most of the popular photo sites.

Use Digital Watermarking

Once you have found a site and started using it, there is one more step that can help in the preservation process: digital watermarking. Digital watermarking is offered on some cameras and some software packages for photo manipulation that come with your camera. It is also a feature of full blown photo editors. It will put a transparent stamp over your photo to the degree that you specify so that you do not have to worry about someone making changes to that photo without you knowing about it. The process is automatic and well worth looking into to preserve your family photos.

Follow Best Practices When Choosing a Password

When you are getting ready to choose a password for your cloud storage site, it is important that you follow the best practices. Many people make the mistake of using the same password across multiple sites. Many easy to remember passwords can be easily hacked, leaving your confidential and sensitive information exposed to potential thieves.

It is best for you to use a unique password across all the sites you have accounts for, including the cloud storage for your priceless family photos. However, you can make certain that you will remember the password that you choose by using the same core term across all sites. You can then add other characters around the core term to make each password unique. For example, if you choose a long word such as “amygdala” as your core term, you can add the name of the site on which it is used to the end. For example, if you are using “amygdala” as your core term for your Facebook password, it can be “amygdalaFacebook.” To make it more unique, add some numbers in between your core term and the site name. For example, your password might then be “amygdala1030145Facebook” for your Facebook password. If you do this for every account that you own with unique site names, it can make it much more difficult for someone else to break your code and to access your information.

In addition to using numbers and different passwords for each site, adding special characters to your passwords can also make them more secure. You might want to add the special characters at the beginning of your password or interspersed in the spelling of your core term.

Overall, the value of having reliable cloud storage for your family photos cannot be underestimated. By organizing, securing, watermarking, and password protecting your collection in the cloud, you will end up with memories that last you a lifetime.