Were you the one of the many 500,000 that were singing the panic- stricken blues early yesterday morning after you logged into you Gmail account, only to find that years of messages and attachments had vanished? Apparently, this was the case after Gmail accidentally hit the reset button on accounts, making old users new again, even making it complete with welcome messages. Google says that the issue "affected less than .29% of the Google Mail user base,” and that engineers were working to fix the issue which will be restored as soon as possible.
Thankfully, I wasn’t affected and I hope many of you weren’t either. However, this does bring up the burning question- How many of you are regularly backing up your email account so that this never happens to you?
There are several ways back up your email account but a quick way to do this is by using another email client(Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL). Some people will back up a Gmail account to another Gmail account, but this recent issue with Gmail is an example of why you would want use another email client as a backup. Rarely, you would see an issue come up where two or more email clients are down at once, unless the internet is having an issue, altogether.
Let’s use Windows Live Hotmail as an example of a quick backup method. You can enable the POP support
in Gmail to set this up but I find that using TrueSwitch
is more user friendly and reliable.
Assuming that you have already created a new @hotmail.com or @live.com account, simply follow the direction, filling in the fields as asked. If you have a relatively large mailbox, it wil take some as it will back up the entire mailbox and unfortunately will not let you pick and choose which folders you want backed up at this time. If you prefer a backup process that gives you complete control, a desktop mail program like Mozilla Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook is the best way to go.
Whichever method you decide to use, it is really important that you back up your email account. Waiting until it is too late and finding an empty inbox is the wrong time to decide on doing a back up, like many found out yesterday.