I was talking to a friend recently about options for storing photos. These days, since phones are most people’s primary cameras, a lot of people tend to let photos sit forever on their phones.

That results in precious photographs being lost with phones either break or get lost or stolen. Phones also tend to fill up fast. Even if you have Google or iPhone cloud storage for phones, you can run out of room over time.

Since it’s free and easily accessible, Facebook can seem like a tempting storage option. But there’s a problem there. Facebook hasn’t made any kind of deal with you to serve as a storage provider. They could decide to limit photo storage tomorrow and stop showing photos older than five years without warning. It’s doubtful that they would, but they could.

If they determine that you’ve somehow violated their terms of service, they can immediately lock or delete your account without advance notice. Plus, they also reduce the quality of the photos you upload to save storage space on their servers. If you wanted to download and print or repurpose your photos later, you could lose some quality.

I suggest selecting a service designed for image storage. I also suggest getting those images to some kind of hard drive so you have a physical copy of your photos. I also think you need to have them backed up to the cloud as well. Something could easily happen to your hard drive. For family photos, I’d even go so far as to suggest a second physical backup of everything that you keep somewhere like a safe deposit box. If a disaster strikes your home, your hard drive is probably going to be hit as well.

While Facebook is a great place to share and view photos, it’s a really good idea to make sure you have alternate backups. You could even go wild and have some of them printed off.