[this post from Nerd Kevin Lloyd]
Hundreds of millions of people rely on web-based services like Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail for their email needs. So far this year, both Hotmail and GMail have experienced problems that resulted in lost email and settings being reset. Both companies apologized for the “glitches”, but that doesn’t negate the fact that hundreds of thousands of people lost their email.
So, what can users do to avoid this happening to them? Microsoft and Google have complete control over their services, leaving users out of luck when something bad happens, and their email support is practically non-existant.
The solution is to install a program like Windows Live Mail (free), Microsoft Outlook, etc., and have it download messages from the web-based providers. That way, if a “glitch” happens again, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you still have local copies of everything on your computer.
In addition, using an off-site backup solution like Nerds Backup will regularly scan your email program and securely back it up. So, in effect, you’ll have three up-to-date copies of your email. The web, the computer problem, and the off-site copy.
Whether it’s on your computer, or part of a web-based service. If you only have one copy of anything, something can happen to it. It’s so important to have THREE copies whenever possible. On the computer, web-based, on an external hard drive, or via off-site backup, but never rely on a USB thumbdrive.