| By Lincoln Spector |
Most users of Web-based e-mail services assume that as long as they’re connected to the Internet, they’ll have 24/7 access to their accounts.
But a recent Gmail failure proved otherwise. Here’s how to create backups of all your mail residing in the cloud.
Online e-mail service failures: slow recovery
About 30,000 Gmail users lost their e-mail on the last day of February. Not only could they not send and receive messages, they couldn’t access any of the messages they had sent, received, or archived since they put their trust in Google.
Google had backups, but five days after the disaster struck, some people’s e-mail collections were still unrestored.
This very scary incident should work as a wake-up call for anyone who keeps e-mail in the cloud. Whether you’re using Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, or something more obscure, if you’re doing mail from a webpage, an error made by someone thousands of miles away could eliminate thousands of precious messages that you chose to save, including vital information from your doctor, your accountant, and your boss.
And because that error would probably rob thousands of other people of their mail, too, you wouldn’t receive careful service, concentrating on you, from the company at fault.