Arunima wonders if one external hard drive will keep cherished pictures safely available for decades, but it’s not that simple

I read your article from June 2016 on What’s the best way to organise and store my digital photos? Is it not sufficient to save my pictures on one external hard drive? Must I save them on two? Also, for how many years will an external hard drive keep the pictures safe?

I have an Apple iMac and until now all my pictures were stored in Photos. Yesterday, I transferred them to an external hard drive and emptied Photos. Is this not enough to ensure the safety and availability of my pics for ever? Arunima

Nothing lasts for ever, and digital images can disappear in seconds. People lose their most important photos every day when hard drives fail, when smartphones and laptops are stolen, when online services shut down, and when natural disasters strike. Fires, floods and earthquakes can also destroy digital records.

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