Q&A – Should I use flash memory cards to store my photos on?
A. Flash memory cards for cameras are getting cheap but I’m not sure I’d be using them as long term storage. First off, it’s too easy to overwrite them so anyone picking one of these up would reasonably expect it could be used and you may lose a lot of photos.
Another reason is that flash memory is not designed to be long-term storage. At best, you’re likely to have the data remain on a flash card for 10 years. It can also be much less depending on how the flash memory is built.
CDs and DVDs are more suited for archiving, especially if you use write-once media but again, I don’t think they’re ideal long-term storage options either. CDs and DVDs are susceptible to light, heat and humidity that affects them over the long term. I’ve read about media whose manufacturer claims will last for 100 years or whatever but I’m not willing to trust it.
I think the best option is to use multiple storage options and have multiple copies. So use external hard drives, CDs or DVDs, you might even want to think about using a Gmail account and emailing photos to yourself.
Bottom line is if you’re relying on flash memory cards, you might just come to them one day not too far from now and find your photos are no longer there.
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