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Save your phone’s photos before it’s too late

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Have you ever lost your phone? There’s that sinking feeling when you realize it’s nowhere to be found. 

There are better ways than calling someone to locate a lost phone.

Our phones can store so much information, from credit card details to email addresses to our most private photos and conversations.

It’s best to back up your photos, so they’re safe and sound — no matter what happens to your device. You decide the method. Just don’t wait till it’s too late. 

Place them in the cloud 

Both iOS and Android let you back up photos to the cloud. It’s easy, and you don’t have to install extra software to do it. 

An iPhone: 

Open Settings on your device and tap your name at the top.Tap iCloud, then tap Photos.Turn on iCloud Photos to start saving your photos to the cloud.

This process can take some time. Once it’s finished, any photos you take will be automatically saved to the cloud. You can also view them on your desktop by signing in to iCloud.com with your Apple ID. 

Both iOS and Android let you back up photos to the cloud. David Paul Morris/

On Android: 

Open the Google Photos app and sign in if you need to.On the top right, tap your account photo or initial.Select Photos settings, followed by Back up and sync.Toggle Back up and sync on.

Your backup will save any future photos you take to the cloud. You can view, edit, and sort them inside the Google Photos app and see them from your desktop at Google.com/photos. 

Note: iCloud & Google Photos only offer limited storage. Additional storage will cost 99c to $1.99 per monthly. 

If you have an Amazon Prime account, this is good news:  

Amazon Photos provides unlimited, full-resolution photo storage and 5 GB video storage for Prime members.

Thumb drives are easy to lose and not an ideal way to back up your photos.Robert Ghement/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

FIND THE SHOT: Have you ever lost time searching for a photo you know is hiding in your gallery?

Here’s one way you shouldn’t store photos 

It’s tempting to store your photos on a thumb drive. They’re small and lightweight — and that makes them easy to lose. Plus, the cheapest drives don’t usually have any encryption or password protection. Think about how you’d feel if someone swiped yours. 

More expensive drives like the USB-powered PhotoStick are explicitly marketed for photo backups. For the most part, it’s a 128GB flash drive. It’s lightweight, easy to lose, and doesn’t offer any security. 

Its onboard software, which shows you how to move and organize your photos, is the main selling point. Amazon reviews are mixed. I’ll leave that choice up to you. 

So how can you use all those thumb drives you have sitting around? Here are some creative ideas: Create a Windows Recovery Drive, scan for viruses, and use it as a key to unlock your PC. 

External drives are a better choice for storing photos.Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

A secure external drive is the best option for a physical backup 

An external drive with a secure lock is a better option if you plan to store your photos digitally. These devices tend to have higher storage capacity and faster speeds, plus they’re harder to lose. They’re also cheaper now than they were years ago. 

This external hard drive from Seagate gives you reliable performance and speed for its size. This hard drive can store up 2TB of data, which is enough to store up to 500,000 photos. 

This external drive from LaCie comes with a cushioned exterior to protect it from drops and bumps. If you’re worried about breaking your hard drive and losing your photos, this rugged 2TB device is a perfect choice. 

If you’re looking for something a bit more secure, go with an encrypted external drive. This hard drive from Apricorn features a 10-digit keypad that protects the contents from being read. You can only get in if you know the code — which means your files are safe if the hard drive is lost or stolen. This is so cool! 

There is no reason to be ashamed now that you know how easy removing photos from your phone can be. Protect your memories. If you don’t, you might be out of luck when your phone is stolen, lost, or breaks.

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