Google Vice President has warned internet users to print out treasured photographs or risk losing them.

Dr Vinton “Vint” Cerf, Vice President of Google recently warned that vast amounts of digital information might soon be lost despite our best measures to preserve digital content.  The software needed to run it will eventually fall out of use as the old makes way for the new.  Essentially our information will fall into a digital “dark age”.  Most digital storage methods we use today are prone to a form of software degradation known as bit rot.  The gradual decay of data over the years.

“If we don’t find a solution our 21st Century will be an information black hole,” Cerf warned the audience. “We think about digitising things because we think we will preserve them, but what we don’t understand is that unless we take other steps, those digital versions may not be any better, and may even be worse, than the artefacts that we digitised.”

“We stand to lose a lot of our history. If you think about the quantity of documentation from our daily lives which is captured in digital form, like our interactions by email, people’s tweets, all of the world wide web, then if you wanted to see what was on the web in 1994 you’d have trouble doing that. A lot of the stuff disappears.

He continues: “We don’t want our digital lives to fade away. If we want to preserve them the same way we preserve books and so on we need to make sure that the digital objects we create will be rendered far into the future.”

Mr Cerf was speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in San Jose, California.

We need to remember that our digital footprint may only last a lifetime.  Physical objects are the only artefacts we know that can withstand the test of time.  With that in mind, one of the best options you have right now for ensuring the long term survival of important photos and documents is to print them out (on good quality materials).

To get going with your prints today you can send your photos to us via email. You can then collect the prints once they’re ready, or we can courier them to you if you’d prefer that. Mail your photos to Orms Cape Town or Orms Bellville.

Print it or Lose it: What will happen to your digital memories over the years?

Via The Telegraph and PetaPixel