Winston-Salem, N.C. - Over the holidays, you probably snapped plenty of photos of loved ones. But, what if they all disappeared? In the world of digital everything, it can happen in an instant.
Jacqueline McBride and her husband took thousands of pictures and videos of her son and daughter during the first two or three years of their lives. Then someone broke into their home, and stole the computer and camera.
"We lost all of those first moments that we'll never have again," McBride said. "I had a beautiful picture of [my daughter] when she was born. She was in my grandmother's arms, and I don't have that image anymore. It was absolutely devastating...I can't put into words what I'd give to have that image back."
After the theft, Jacqueline's husband decided to do something proactive. He created SnapCrowd.com.
"It became a passion that this would not happen to another family," McBride said.
SnapCrowd.com is an online cloud back-up website where you can store and view your photos. You can also stream your videos and music.
Francis Perez also helped bring the site to life. "You never want to use just one type of backup. You never want to use just a DVD or a CD because those CDs aren't going to last very long," Perez said. "Nobody thinks about backing up until something bad happens to you...If you want that extra protection, the cloud is the only way to go."
Now, thousands have signed up for the service, so they won't end up like the McBrides.
"We don't want to lose our digital life again," McBride said. "It's wild how life continues on and they grow and you forget. You forget some of those wonderful moments. And, I can't get them back."
Even if you use an online cloud back-up program, it's also a good idea to have other back-ups. CDs, DVDs, and flash drives can be less stable than portable hard drives.
Experts recommend having a home back-up on your computer or external hard-drive, at your bank in a safe-deposit box and with another family member.
Many websites, including SnapCloud, offer a good-sized amount of free storage. You can purchase more if you need it. Also, don't forget to back-up other parts of your digital world like your music and your cell phone contacts, pictures and videos.