Email in the Cloud? Back It Up or Risk Losing It

For the second time that I recall Google has had some kind of glitch and tens of thousands of users temporarily lost their emails and access to their accounts this weekend. I read interviews in which people, understandably upset, explained how they had lost thousands of emails; years of communications.

Since Google keeps everything, by the end of the today most accounts and emails were restored and Google has stated no emails were lost. This is very fortunate and quite lucky.

Imagine however if you keep your business emails on a Cloud service and don’t retain backups and backup access. At the least you would have lost the ability communicate via email for the weekend.  At the worst, if the service is not able to restore your emails, you would have lost all of your business correspondence.

I use a Web-based email service myself, but I also have my account set to download all emails to my computer.  I keep my email both on the server and on my laptop at all times. I also backup my computer itself, including my emails, to yet another location.  I discussed this concept in a prior blog post.

Am I extra careful when it comes to my email? Yes, because email is the lifeblood of my business communications.  I need to be able to access it at any time from any location, and I need that access to be secure so private communications cannot be intercepted by third parties.

Virtually any Web-based email service has instructions on downloading the emails to your computer while still keeping the emails on the server.  If you set your email up to do this you will effectively have created a live backup of your email, as long as you make certain to have the email program run at least once a day.

Setting up an email program on your computer is quite easy. You simply need the information for the settings, and most providers give this information. Google, for example, provides information on how access Gmail through software such as Outlook, which effectively enables you to backup your email.

It is important to make certain that you choose to leave your email on the server when you set up an external email program to view your email.  You also might want to take advantage of the IMAP setup as opposed to the POP setup. IMAP offers more options for controlling email. For example if you delete emails in Outlook, an IMAP setup will delete them from the server too, and vice-versa.

The loss of email for any business can be devastating.  Please make sure you backup your emails, wherever you keep them so you are not victimized, even temporarily, by such a loss.


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