How to Backup Your Web-Based Email Data
While less than one percent of Gmail users were victims of the recent Gmail data loss, if you were one of the 37,500 whose emails, chat logs and contacts disappeared, it could be disastrous. The unfortunate event underscores the vulnerability of even the most robust cloud storage system.
Currently, Google is working to restore the data lost in an error made over the weekend and has set up an Apps Status Dashboard to log any updates as they happen. The company has adjusted its estimate of affected users from .08 percent or 150,000 down to .02 percent in recent hours.
The latest update assures users that "Access has been restored for one third of the affected users. The remaining 0.013 percent of accounts is being restored on an ongoing basis, and we expect the issue to be resolved for everyone within 12 hours."
If you were in the lucky and unscathed majority, or use a different email service, consider yourself warned. Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL all store email data in the cloud. Take a few moments to back up your contacts and any important emails onto your hard drive.
If your contact list and critical emails to be backed up are relatively small in number, simply copy and paste into Word documents for safekeeping.
Gmail allows users to export their contact lists as a Microsoft Excel file. Select "Contacts" in the left hand navigation panel, click on the button "More actions" at the bottom of the listing, select "Export", and then "Outlook CSV format" from the menu, which will download your contacts in Excel.
Yahoo Mail, AOL and Hotmail/Windows Live users can select "Contacts" from the left-panel navigation. The services will display your contact list and from that page you may select "Export" to download a file to save on your machine, or simply print the list.
If you want to store copies of your emails and don't have the time to do it manually, you can forward them to another account you own or bcc yourself. If you'd like the process completely automated, you may consider using a software backup solution or an online email backup service.
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