Now that we are using digital cameras and taking a lot more pictures then we used to since cost is not an issue and all you need to do is plug it in to your computer and viola, you have an instant screen saver or the ability to email or print the pictures yourself. What we must realize however, is that this data is still very susceptible to errors such as a catastrophic hard drive crash, or even worse, you have a house fire and lose your computer. Think about it for a minute. If you did have such a fire, your normal photographs would be gone. This is probably one of the only things that you can't replace through insurance. Now that we are using our computers to house these photographs, extra care must be taken to make sure you have them safe and sound.
This can be done rather simply now with DVD Burners creating backups of our data at 4.7 gb per disc (or over 8gb on a dual layer dvd). This is just one of the services that I do provide to any and all computers that hit my work bench as I will typically not only create a backup 'image' of the entire hard drive, but will back that up to DVDs so that you have a copy that you can place in a safe deposit box (or even at a friends home since you don't want to just leave those disks lying around your home--in the case of that house fire!). Don't be shy, feel free to contact me on this or any other technical matter!
If you aren't already taking advantage of your cd/dvd burner and backing up your important data, such as "my documents", which if you are doing this, will also include the "my pictures" and "my music" folders... something windows has thought of and does well. So the old saying to "not keep all your eggs in one basket" in this instance does not apply since having 'my documents' actually housing your most important data makes creating backup cd/dvds that much easier. The key is what you do with that backup after you have created it!
As for online storage and backup, I highly suggest anyone that is in to photography to take advantage of the webshots online program. For about $25 per year you can feel confident in knowing your pictures are safe in cyberspace, not to mention the ease of viewing for you and for those that you offer permission to (public or private folders can be created).
Complete and constant data backup is now a reality with high speed Internet and Carbonite backup. At $5 per month, isn't it worth some piece of mind? I currently have it running on my server and my laptop and feel quite comfortable knowing I will always have access to those so-called "lost files". If you are interested in either of these, be sure to click on the links provided here as the prestige of signing on through me makes me rich (not really.. about $2 per sign up I believe).