Hacked Photo Centers and Scanning Options for Genealogy

The recent news of Costco and Sam's Club shutting down their photo centers due to hackers means a new set of options for scanning family genealogy photos.

A Recent Hacking Scandal Impacts the Genealogy World

In the past few weeks, several of the big warehouse stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club have had to shut down their online photo centers due to the hacking of a third-party provider. It all started when the provider for CVS photo services was hacked; it turns out that many retailers use this same provider for their own customer’s online photo processing needs.

What Do I Do If I’ve Used a Hacked Online Photo Service?

If you have been using the CVS Photo Center online or one of the other online photo centers affected, you should first make sure you are using a reliable credit monitoring service.

If you have been using the CVS Photo Center online or one of the other online photo centers affected, you should first make sure you are using a reliable credit monitoring service.  Usually, when a site has been hacked, to reduce their liability, a vendor will offer their existing customers one or two years of FREE credit monitoring. If so, take advantage of this offer.

What Are My Options for Photo Scanning Now?

The next thing to do is to explore your options for photo scanning and processing.

  • Do-It-Yourself: Many family historians, upon being given a large box of photos, negatives and slides, seek to do their own scanning. This means using existing scanning apparatus (usually a flatbed scanner or an “all in one” printer/scanner combo) or purchasing a new device. Keep in mind that as a DIYer, you are responsible for understanding the technology and the settings. One piece of equipment used by many genealogists is the Jumbl 22MP All-In-1 Film & Slide Scanner w/ Speed-Load Adapters for 35mm Negative & Slides, 110, 126, & Super 8 Films now 50% off at Amazon. But what if you have a HUGE amount to scan or you don’t have the time?

Are you sitting on a collection of old 35mm slides, 8mm or 16mm home movies, or perhaps boxes of photo negatives? I hope you realize that the material breaks down over the years . . . that’s why it is so important to scan and digitize those materials as soon as possible. The Jumbl High-Resolution Scanner handles many media types and does not require a computer or software – you can scan right to its internal memory or memory card! Right now the Jumbl, which has high ratings, is 50% off at Amazon – only $99!

  • Local Vendors: You could use a local vendor, but one main drawback is evaluating the reputation of their work. Not all scanning shops are alike! Carefully check the technical specs and ask questions such as “Are you using a rapid scanner, and if so, what is the final resolution of each photo?” and “What file formats do you scan photos to?” Also, check the store’s privacy policy in terms of storing credit card information. Better yet, pay with cash!
  • Other Online Vendors: Again, it comes down to reputation when selecting any online vendor for photo scanning. Not only should you ask about their privacy policy, but also get references or recommendations from past customers as to the quality of their work.

Larsen Digital – A Trusted Photo Resource for Genealogists

15¢ Photo Scanning to Digital Format - Exclusive Offer for Fans and Friends of GeneaBloggers: Converting photos to digital has never been easier! Just send in your loose photos to Larsen Digital and they will put them on a disc for just 15¢ per photo! Now is the time to stop procrastinating and pull out your boxes of photos and finally get them all converted to digital. All you need to do is get them to Larsen Digital and they will take care of the rest- creating high quality digital images from all your photos.

One online vendor that has a solid reputation and history of working with genealogists (they are based in Salt Lake City, after all), is Larsen Digital. I have personally used their services for photo scanning and retouching; the process is amazingly simple and at every step of the way, I felt that not only were my precious family photos safe, but also my personal information. Larsen Digital is a family-run business with superior customer service and they treated me as a friend and showed that they appreciated my business.  When was the last time you found that in any business, online or in-person?

Click here for a recent review of Larsen Digital and the wide variety of services they offer for not just photos, but also the digitization of audio and video tapes, slides, film negatives, home movies and more!

TWO Special Offers from Larsen Digital

This week I called up Larsen Digital and we discussed the issues involved with the recent photo center hacking. As a result, we came up with two different offers for followers of GeneaBloggers!

10% Off Photo and Slide Scanning – use promo code Thomas2015 and save – via Larsen Digital

  • 15¢ Photo Scanning to Digital Format – Exclusive Offer for Fans and Friends of GeneaBloggers: Converting photos to digital has never been easier! Just send in your loose photos to Larsen Digital and they will put them on a disc for just 15¢ per photo! Now is the time to stop procrastinating and pull out your boxes of photos and finally get them all converted to digital. All you need to do is get them to Larsen Digital and they will take care of the rest- creating high quality digital images from all your photos. Click here for the PDF form with instructions on how to take advantage of this great offer!

FREE return shipping on all orders over $100. Photos will be scanned at 300 DPI Jpeg and saved on a disc. This deal has been extended to August 15th (disregard the expiration date of June 30th on the PDF order form).

Restrictions: To protect the scanner and the photos, this offer is valid on:

– Photos sized 3×5 – 8×10
– Photos must Be Loose
– Photos need to be in good condition
– No Sticky adhesive residue
– Photos can’t be cut into odd shapes
– This special price can’t be combined with other coupons or discounts

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

RootsTech 2015 – Session Live Streaming Schedule Announced

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.
Rootstech 2015 has just announced the schedule of sessions that will be live streamed over the Internet. Click here for the complete schedule of 14 sessions that can be viewed at http://www.rootstech.org. Also note that all times shown on the schedule are in Mountain Time (GMT -7).

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Calling RootsTech attendees: Ancestry needs you!

Ancestry.com is looking for RootsTech 2015 attendees to provide product and service feedback - you could receive a $50 Amazon gift card and more!

Ancestry.com depends on user input to help mold the future generation of their offerings. A range of opportunities are being planned here at RootsTech for participants to share their impressions of upcoming Ancestry features across multiple products.  These will include both focus groups and individual interviews during the conference.

They are looking for subscribers of all levels of expertise, membership tenure, and tree size. To be considered, please fill out the following online questionnaire and members of Ancestry’s User Research team will reach out to you for scheduling. Incentives will include a 6 month subscription extension to your membership, or a $50 Amazon gift card for an hour of your time. Research sessions will take place Thursday through Saturday in the Hilton across from the conference center.

Please access the survey here: http://ancestry.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3lv4vGiz9N9Qh1P

Please reach out to Ancestry directly if you have any concerns: User-Research@ancestry.com