How to Avoid Losing Our Digital Legacy

How to Avoid Losing Our Digital Legacy



Currently we have a lot of digital documents created by us, our family members, parents and children. Over the years we create text documents, spreadsheets, pictures, digital videos or web pages we have created over years. All these information we create is our . Are we willing to lose it? How will your children, your grandchildren see pictures or videos of these digital objects over time? Hardly anyone uses paper photos and I think this deserves some thoughts.

Some of these documents can be found on the internet over social networks, web pages, others not. The real question is what to do with the digital documents you want to keep whether they are or not on the internet. That is a question that has an answer here, in these lines.

All electronic devices that we use to build all that stuff someday will expire, will be inaccessible or obsolete. External hard drives, mobile phones, digital video camera, USB stick, memory cards and electronic devices. Can we continue to access to these documents? May we lose this information? These two questions are some issues that you have to think about when generating too much information and quick every day.

The answer you probably think is correct. Certain things can be accessible and others will require some effort. We keep seeing these documents whether we take some easy steps. These steps will diminish the effort. I mention some of them.

  1. Back up your digital data.
  2. Try to upgrade to higher versions writings.
  3. Update your graphic formats such as video or photos to new formats.
  4. Try to retrieve information from a device before it is inaccessible.

These above four points will prevent you to have the digital information of your relatives safe.

1. Back up your digital data

Ask your relatives to give you a copy of all documents they want to save, especially photos or videos (the documentation is the most sentimental), digital or other written documents that would preserve digital objects. Once per month would be enough.

Try to have a dedicated hard disk to store digital documents that you want to keep. Use an additional one to have a backup of the first one.

Organize your external hard drive in folders, preferably dates and topics. One option is year-month-topic but there are other possibilities to organize your information. Create an organization easy for you to find the information. Once a month, take a little time to order your hard disk, your photos and documents. This hard drive, you will serve backup. And the other disk, a previous backup. It seems a bit pointless, but sometimes technology fails.

I also recommend you to use an updated antivirus on both discs, so that all your documentation is safe. At first it will be a huge job but whether everyone sends its information regularly, you will have less work. In this way information will be safe. You can always ask for help from someone in the family in this work whether you consider you have a lot of work to do.

From time to time, as an example each three or four years, you will have to change because these drives could also be inaccessible. But instead of replacing many electronic dispositives, you only have to replace two, just both hard drives.

2. Try to upgrade to higher versions writings

Your digital writings, with the passage of time and technology, need to be updated. That is, if you have a writing made on a version 2 of a software program, try to transform it to version 3. You may find some changes on the final result, such as a table organization, but you will not lose the information.

3. Update your graphic formats such as video or photos to date formats

Graphic formats also can give us problems over time. Try to transform your videos, pictures to newer digital formats so you can still enjoy your graphic material and your best moments. Pictures do not change often its digital format, but the digital video does. They have more resolution, better exposure levels. It is recommendable to update videos to a new digital format. As an example upgrade mpeg2 videos to mpeg4 format.

4. Try to retrieve information from a device before it is inaccessible

What about outdated devices? Try first attempt to retrieve the information you need by connecting the device, whenever you can to your computer. The aim is to obtain the data. If you cannot connect the device to your computer, try to assess the importance of this information and decide whether or not you want to keep it. If you want to keep it, you will need to transfer the information to your hard drive. Depending on the device you may need help from someone with knowledge of that device.

With all these small actions, you may have to save most of their digital legacy. They are preventive actions that will help you have your legacy.

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