Beware! this article contains my personal opinion.

According to the  experts, we are in danger of losing our digital history because it’s stored on ever changing technology that no longer has devices to read them.

They are, of course referring floppy disks, CD’s, mobile phones, cameras, etc. Currently, we are already continually transferring information from one device to another as old technologies die and other forms of media take their place. Most of us back up information in two or three places and constantly need to consider those nasty viruses too (another subject worthy of discussion).

Cloud storage solutions also have problems with loss, corruption and can even make mistakes with data. What if the company fails? I would hope they offer alternatives to customers before they shut down. If you’re looking into storing in the cloud, you might want to check out their company continuity plans and privacy policies.

Human nature being the way it is cloud storage has a tendency to make people slack on taking responsibility for their own data. Remember you still need to back up your own data—cloud is not magic.

It’s starting to sound like paper, micro-film or microfiche can be stable method of converting documents, at least as long as archive organizations and business retain the technology to read it. This leaves most of us with the commitment to back up anything valuable at least three times on different storage devices.

A lot of money is made in digital preservation. Paying someone to convert your data is yet another way to go. It could be costly and you’d need to trust them to do the job properly. Remember, your file often labeled  “My Stuff” is very valuable.

If you’d like to read the article that prompted me to write this blog post, click on Adelaide Now.

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3 Comments on Ever changing technology devices could cause digital genealogy data to be lost forever

  1. Jennifer F says:

    Great article! Thanks for the heads up and warnings and suggestions for alternatives. I just lost alot of information recently when my thumb drive caught a virus from a public computer and everything was lost…..didn’t have a backup location. In hindsight, NOT GOOD. Always think ahead and store documents in 2 to 3 places at least, and make sure they are as secure as you can make them.

  2. Norman G. says:

    This is a great reminder to remember to back-up files regularly. Three different ways is good advice. It was interesting to see your comments on cloud computing–nothing is is fullproof.

  3. Shirley Stein says:

    Like Jennifer F’s comment, I lost a lot of files that were important to my job and spent weeks recreating and askingfor copies. You can’t trust flash drives and, as you suggest, store your information in several places. Thanks for the reminder.

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