Hitech could kill photos
Local business owner Ian Cope is warning people to print out online photos or risk losing them.
Cope, of Fotographix Fugi Film Image Service has echoed the message in an article in the United Kingdom’s Telegraph quoting internet pioneer Vint Cerf.
Cerf warned the 21st Century could become a ‘‘dark ages’’ due to the amount of data stored online that could potentially be lost.
Cope said one of the main reasons behind data becoming inaccessible was developing technology.
‘‘We won’t be able to access data for the same reason we can’t access a website from 20 years ago – software changes.’’
Computer viruses, lack of storage space and system crashes were also a cause.
He said there had been a noticeable drop in photo printing when storing photos on devices and online became a viable option.
‘‘There was a big drop when it all started going online. People started storing on computers, iPhones, iPads because they could easily show them.’’
It moved back into printing because people found it more difficult to find what they were looking for, computers crashed, and there was not enough space to store their photos, he said.
However, there are still a vast amount of people storing photos online with no back up – most in their teens and 20s, he said.
‘‘It’s dangerous. It really is. Any tech savvy person could hack anything and steal your photos and you have no control over them and you can’t get them back.
‘‘Once it’s on the net, yes it’s safe and secure and whatever, but look at all those celebrities who’ve had their accounts hacked,’’ said Cope.
He also made mention of several past incidents where ownership of photos posted online had been disputed.
‘‘I wouldn’t be raising this if it wasn’t important. Print them out. There’s no way a virus can get to them or they can be deleted.’’
Waitaki District Archives curator Chris Meech also encouraged people to print out their photos as they are ‘‘an important part of preserving history’’.
‘‘ Photographs have rich personal meaning. Many photo- graphs are unique and if lost, the information they provide can never be replaced.
‘‘They are immediate and very accessible to people of all ages . . . [they] capture details and nuance of daily life that the written word cannot capture.
‘‘ Digital photographs can be unstable and degrade over time, they need to be looked after just as paper records do,’’ he said.
‘‘ To properly look after your digital photographs you need to follow these four simple steps: Identify, Decide, organise, and Make copies.
‘‘Identify means find out where you have digital photographs – they may be on a computer, a phone, disk (and so on).
‘‘Decide which photographs are the most important. Organise the important photographs you have chosen. Make copies and store them in different places.’’
Cope agrees said that now people have photos on their phones they’re taking hundreds. ‘‘Pick the important ones.’’ The rest can be stored on external hard drives and online websites designed for personal photo storing, he said.
He recommended investigating all available websites and checking details like past history and how long they’ve been in the industry, whether photos are their main line of business, storage and privacy, ease of access for printing and whether you can talk to someone locally if you require help.
He said he and his family use website www.fisphotos.co.nz
Pieces of history: Waitaki District Archives curator Chris Meech said photos play an important role in preserving our history.