I’d like to add another element to our recent off-site backup blog post. If you are like most people you have quite a few digital pictures. Again, if you are like most people, you probably aren’t backing them up but you certainly should be. It can be quite devastating to lose pictures because of a drive crash or some other disaster.

First, be sure you have a standalone backup. But let’s take it a step further and create another backup of just your pictures.

Google Picasa is a free piece of software from Google that let’s you view, organize and lightly touch up your picture collection. We won’t cover all of the features in this post, but it is worth mentioning that it has some very neat tricks. It will “recognize” people, for example, and allow you to name them. This means you can tell Picasa to show you all of the pictures of your significant other and the software uses face recognition to do just that. Oh, and did I mention that it is free?

Once you have Picasa installed, sign in to Picasa Web Albums with your Google or Gmail account. Web Albums is online storage from Google. You can then tell Picasa which albums to upload to your Web Album space.  You get one gigabyte of storage for free. You can purchase additional storage at extremely reasonable rates.

Once Picasa finds all of your pictures and you are signed in to Web Albums, click on “Tools” and then “Web Albums.” Change the option “Default upload size” to “Original size (slowest upload.)” This will keep Picasa from compressing your pictures before upload so that you have an original copy. Now simply click the “On” button for “Sync to Web” for every album you want to backup. Now sit back and let the upload do its magic. The initial upload can take quite a bit of time depending on how much space your pictures are consuming.

One last note: unless you specifically want to share all of your pictures with the world, you want to tell Picasa to make your albums private by default. Click on “Tools” then “Web Albums.” Make sure “New album visibility” is set to “Private”.

Another benefit of backing up your pictures to Web Albums is that you can now get to your pictures from any computer that has internet access. Simply visit http://picasaweb.google.com/ and login with your Google or Gmail account to see all of your pictures.

Google Picasa’s Web Albums is a great way to quickly and easily backup your pictures. My personal philosophy is that backups are like money – you can’t have enough. While using Web Albums is a great way to backup your pictures, it should be another layer in your overall backup plan. Our off-site backup service can help you implement a backup plan that will keep your data safe in the worst of circumstances.