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Preparing for Gmail's Next Massive Data Loss
February 28, 2011 11:00 AM
This weekend, Google's email cloud suffered a severe thunderstorm. Roughly 150,000 Gmail users found all of their data -- their emails, their chat logs, their contacts, their attachments, everything -- missing. Vanished. Gone.
, the convenience of having your data stored online and accessible from a wide variety of devices is rendered moot by a massive glitch.
Currently, Google is working to restore the data lost in the error and has set up an
Apps Status Dashboard
to log any updates as they happen.
The last report before the repetitive message: "Google Mail service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change."
Although the company is ensuring a full recovery of data, this glitch underscores the necessity of email backups should you store your content online. Whether using Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, or work servers, everyone should have locally stored backups.
Lifehacker gives us some pointers
on how to go about doing that:
Use a desktop IMAP email client: Like
the free Thunderbird
. It's the best compromise of convenience, time, and cost (
: It's not free, but it is automatic and out of your hair. Pricing starts at $19.95 per year.
Forward messages to a secondary account
: It only works for new messages going forward, but better late than never.
Use the free fetchmail tool
: It's Unix-y, and requires some command line entries, but it's not too hard.
: As explained by Matt Cutts, it's another Unix command that takes a while to run, but eventually gets pulls down all your data.
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