Thousands of Google Email users were given a rude awakening this week when Google accidentally reset their accounts. Initially it was thought as many as 500,000 of Gmail users were affected, however Google later revised this to about 40,000 of its 200 million users. But how can you protect yourself against this?
Either way, it was no fun for those who have lost years of emails, although Google has begun restoring them, apparently.
Just a decade ago, most people used an email client such as Netscape Mail, Outlook or Outlook Express, although the likes of Hotmail and Yahoo existed back then, up until Google came along with their Gmail and 2GB inboxes, the storage space was quite limited and so few used web based email as their only way to access email, usually using a email client to store their emails offline.
Recent years has seen a huge shift in how people access their email, huge inbox storage means many leave all their emails online, only ever accessing them through their browser. The all dominant Outlook/Outlook Express email clients now only account for 35% of the market share, with the likes of web based Yahoo! Hotmail and Gmail making up another 35% and rising.
Technically, storing your emails only in your email client is the riskiest option, a hard drive failure or stolen PC could lead to you losing all those irreplaceable holiday or baby pictures you were sent by email. However as Gmail users found out this week, trusting all your email to a third party can just as easily leave you staring at an empty inbox, wishing you’d backed up.
Luckily the answer is simple, use both methods, wherever possible, and this applies to our customers using our WebMail system too. In your email client’s settings ensure that ‘Leave messages on server‘ is ticked. That way a copy of every email will be stored on the server (a.k.a. the Cloud) so you will always have two copies, at least. If you use one of the big three, Yahoo! Hotmail or Gmail, you should have enough space for years, but if you find you’re running out of space just change the settings to a time limit so that the messages are left on the server for 90 days, just make sure that whatever time limit you choose gives enough time to do your regular back ups, just in case.
Which of course brings us to the most important and best way of saving your data, backing it up. However you do it, make sure you back up your PC regularly, otherwise you could lose everything, and not just emails.