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Take Ownership and Back-Up!

And so the humble subject of backup bubbles up again as Google manage to loose 150,000 Gmail accounts. Yes, they will probably restore them and I suspect that most people will get their precious emails back. But people, you really need to take responsibility for your own data!

Google even tell you how to back-up your email using POP3

‘Backing up your mail with POP’

Learn to back-up everything that you are storing in the Cloud. It’s not interesting, it’s not exciting but it could save you a whole lot of time and hassle.


  1. Andrew Fidel says:

    Yep, I pull my mail from gmail with Thunderbird and then have that backed up locally and remotely using Mozy (will be switching to Carbonite or another provider when my current 2 year unlimited contract with Mozy expires). Even IT people who should know better are often woefully bad at backing up their personal data. I had to do a HDD extraction from the laptop of our SVP (who I know is well aware of the value of backups from discussions we have had) because he didn’t have an automated backup program on it and hadn’t run the Windows backup solution he was using in many months.

  2. Actually, I respectfully disagree. I’ll caveat that by saying that I eat, live and breathe backup in the enterprise space.

    But one thing that has taught me is that if you leave backup up to individual users, you don’t get backup.

    Furthermore, I think it’s actually unethical for cloud based systems to advocate that they can safely store your data, but then recommend you do your own backups. Let’s be practical: how do you restore your data back to Google? Sure, you could then do an IMAP connection back to it and then push the mail back at it, but the core argument should be: If Google (and other cloud providers) want to encourage a feeling of safety in the cloud, they must be responsible for the backup & recovery of the data they are storing. Advocating a completely decentralised backup approach is advocating dragging the world back to the 70’s and 80’s. We’re past decentralised backups. Don’t trust anyone who encourages you to go back to it.


  3. Martin Glassborow says:

    Okay, Preston but in the case of a service like Gmail for example where you aren’t paying for the service, you probably have no idea of what the SLA is; I reckon you’d be mad to not take ownership of your own data.

    Actually, I’m impressed to discover that Google do take things a lot more seriously than I thought and the revelation that they can restore from tape is actually a re-assurance but I still wouldn’t rely on them.

    What am I going to do if they loose all my email? Sue them? For a service I’m not paying for?

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