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Cloud Cache: 5 Tips to Protect and Save Family Memories

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Memories—When it comes to keeping your family memories safe, you might think that storing them in your mind is good enough. But you’re not going to be around forever, and if you want your kids, grandkids, and future generations to have access to the many wonderful memories that have made your family what it is today, then you need to ensure that they have access. And the latest technology can help you in this regard.

Using an online cloud cache—a digital service that stores your files online like Dropbox, SugarSync, or Amazon Cloud Drive—to store your family memories is a great way to ensure that they’re safe from the ravages of time.

5 Tips to Storing Your Family Memories Through an Online Cloud Cache

Here are just a few steps towards making this format work for you.

  1. Compile. The first step to caching your memories is to compile them. You’ll want to collect photos, videos, and even audio files that pertain to your family history. Likely you already have scrapbooks, journals, photo albums, and boxes of films and tapes stored someplace. But this is just the obvious stuff.  You should also consider compiling family stories. Since many are passed on orally, it’s only a matter of time before they get lost or there’s no one around who knows the real story. So go to the source and make audio recordings or have older relatives write down some of your family history, before it is lost in time.
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  2. Digitize. Next you’ll want to digitize everything. The only drawback of a cloud network is that it is entirely digital, so old photos will have to be scanned (although as a bonus you can correct them) and film, video, and audio tapes will have to be transferred. Since the latter can be hard to do at home (without the proper equipment) you may have to contract the services of a vendor that does this type of transfer. It could be a bit pricy, especially if you have a lot of footage, but it’s worth it considering that film and video tape degrade over time.
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  3. Upload.  Now you’re ready to begin uploading your files to the cloud cache. While the process is pretty simple, the trick is finding a cache that you’re comfortable using. Ask family and friends what they suggest and then shop around for a service that offers all of the features you’re seeking at a good price. You need to find a company that is safe, stable, reliable, and affordable to entrust your family memories to. This post by Lifehacker.com provides a great review of some of the popular services out there.
  4. Expand. While you may be able to get some space for free by signing up for certain service plans, at some point you are bound to need more storage. Luckily, expansion is easy; there’s really no limit to the amount of data that can be stored across multiple servers since all the company has to do is add more as needed. However, it can be costly, so you may want to get other family members involved to defray the expense.
  5. Share. You could rely on DVD duplication to share your family members with relatives and friends, but this will entail a lot of extra time and expense on your part. One of the best features of a cloud cache is that it allows you to share all of your files instantly with anyone you choose, saving you both time and money. Even though you’re probably willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that your family has access to the many wonderful memories you’ve created together, there’s no reason not to make your life a little easier whenever you can.
How do you protect and save family memories? What are your favorite ways to save and share photos?
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Elizabeth Retton is a freelance writer and part time student  at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.
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