I wish I could say that your digital files will last forever, but they can easily get damaged if not stored properly. Think for a moment about all the different digital mediums we've had over the years- do you still remember floppy disks? Do you know that the lifespan of a CD is only five years until disk corruption begins its ugly process? Those are the times you’ll notice a perfectly unscratched CD or DVD will skip and not play properly in a disk player. There are so many reasons why I feel that your printed items are going to bring you the best value for your investment, but the facts are hard to accept. Digitals are a way of life nowadays, and the best we can do is to get educated on how to store and archive our digital files. Here are a few tips I am going to share with you to help you extend the lifespan of your digital images.
When you receive your online gallery or digitals on a USB stick you should have an external hard drive or a CD\DVD available to create a back-up copy of your files. I also recommend storing a copy of your images on your personal computer’s hard drive. Having several duplicate options will prove very useful in transporting your data to share with others without having to worry about damaging your original!
Be careful to plug in your thumb drive o0r even an external hard drive and ensure it is inserted correctly on the first try. Many flash drives and disks get irreparably damaged due to being forced into the computer incorrectly. If the drive doesn't plug in, don't force it; double-check to make sure its positioning is correct. Forcing those mediums will not only damage them, but it can also damage your computer!
When transporting your images, keeping it stored in a safe, secure position, such as in a box will ensure longevity. Improper storage can stress the drive and increase chances of banging, bending, or crushing. When holding a disk, be sure to keep your hands off the shiny part of the disk to avoid oils from your hands transferring on to it. If you smudge your CD, use warm soapy water and a cotton rag for wiping as paper towels can cause scratches. Household cleaners can damage your disk very easy.
If you have a flash drive, always store it with its protective cap on and in a soft bag or container. Leaving the drive's connector exposed will attract dust and sediments, which will rapidly decrease its functioning ability. It is not recommended to store your mediums in a hot place or direct sunlight; cooler temperatures and dark storage are ideal.