Storage is not just the device or service you use to hold your videos; it also requires a set of actions or practices to ensure your media stays intact, secure, and accessible. Making copies, checking files, controlling access, and refreshing your devices are simple strategies for keeping your videos safe while in storage.
A Scenario: An Activist’s Personal Collection
Ryan has been filming various events, protests, and meetings that he has participated in for the past year. He has amassed a collection of over a hundred videos that serve as a document of the social movement that he is part of. He stores his videos on a 4-bay RAID 5 Firewire unit at home, which is backed up to an external hard drive using Time Machine. To protect against accidental deletion, Ryan keeps his videos separate from his family’s other files, and sets read-only permissions on the videos. Also, every couple of months, he makes a copy of his collection on a hard drive and brings it to his brother’s house.
A hurricane sweeps in to the region while Ryan is on vacation, causing major flooding in his home. The Firewire unit is water-damaged beyond repair. To make matters worse, the Time Machine backup was kept on the same shelf as the Firewire unit and is also damaged. Most of Ryan’s collection can be recovered, however, thanks to the copy he brought to his brother’s house two months ago.
Beware physical threats
Your storage devices may be vulnerable to physical theft, seizure, or destruction. Protect your stored collections by controlling access (e.g. a locked room), monitoring the area (e.g. security camera, alarm system), and keeping them away from potential physical hazards (e.g. windows and heating/air conditioning units, and off the floor).
Beware network threats
If your storage devices are connected to your network, they may be vulnerable to hacking and malware such as viruses or spyware. Some precautions include making sure you have firewall software installed and turned on, only downloading or opening attachments from known and trusted sources, and using strong, uncompromised passwords.
Encrypting your storage devices or volumes can be risky. While encryption protects sensitive data from being read by the wrong people, it can also mean that your data is locked up forever if you lose the key. Depending on the encryption, there may be no way to “crack” or decrypt your files without the key.