In the age of smartphones and the slow death of the printer, New Zealanders are losing about 20 million photos a year when their phones are lost, stolen or damaged.

Two Kiwi travellers found this out the hard way.

Rebekah Thompson lost more than 3000 photos at the end of her gap year when her phone was stolen.

The 20-year-old Palmerston North-based accounting cadet said she was in Portsmouth on the south coast of England for her overseas experience when her phone was pick-pocketed from her bag during a night out.

“I felt beyond shocked and pretty upset when I realised it was stolen and it didn’t hit me until I got back a week later to New Zealand and people wanted me to show them photos and I couldn’t.”

A similar thing happened to John Lee during a night out in Ibiza at the end of a stint of European travel.

The 25-year-old said he was in a packed club in Ibiza, squeezed up against other people, and someone took his phone from his pocket without him realising.

Lee said he lost hundreds of photos and videos from his travel during the five weeks prior to that.

He also lost every photo he took during the past couple of years that had been saved on his phone.

Lee said he felt “gutted” that he no longer had a record of anything.

“While you can say it’s the memories that matter, I’ll forget half of them without having that record of them.”

An annual cybercrime report from cyber security firm Norton found 26 per cent of Kiwi adults had their mobile device lost or stolen last year, down from 41 per cent in 2012.

On losing a cellular device, people said their biggest concerns were whether a stranger would access their contacts, rack up a large bill, or take and use one’s personal details.

But imaging company Fujifilm said there was another consequence New Zealanders were overlooking, the disappearance of irreplaceable photos.

Fujifilm sales and marketing manager Peter Bonisch said Kiwis took about 1.2 billion snaps on their smartphones each year and on average each person stored about 1200 photos on their phones.

New Zealanders loved taking photos on their smartphones but they rarely thought to store them securely or print them out, Bonisch said. This meant about 20 million images were lost forever each year.

International trends indicated smartphones would soon become consumers’ primary image storing device, ahead of computers, tablets and digital cameras, Bonisch said.

However, less than 10 per cent of those photos were printed.

“We scroll through and reminisce, and share a few photos on social media, but most of them stay on our phone.”

Therefore, when someone’s phone disappeared, so did their pics, he said.

“People are losing precious reminders of significant events, their friends and their family history.”

Snapchat, now the world’s largest photo sharing app, did not automatically store images, Bonisch said.

TIPS TO KEEP YOUR PHOTOS SAFE

  • Regularly upload photos to the Cloud.
  • Save photos from your phone to your computer so you have a second copy.
  • Print your photos using a photo kiosk or at home.

Via Stuff NZ

This article appeared on Stuff NZ on September 14 2104 and was written by Laura Walters. It originally appeared on Fairfax News.

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