I know all of you have been very concerned, so let me first announce that my e-mail is OK. Whew!
What's that? You don't know me, didn't know I had a problem, don't care, and are really only reading this to find out how to protect your own e-mail? Fine. I'll get to that in a minute.
As I was saying earlier this week (see Dude, where's my Gmail?), I have one of what turned out to be "only" approximately 40,000 Google accounts (the original estimate was 150,000 accounts) that was accidentally disabled, and my e-mails deleted by a software update. The data had to be restored from tape, which Google did, and got my account back up and running on Wednesday morning. As far as I can see, the e-mails appear to have been fully restored.
Since this was a very unusual circumstance for Google, and I'm not really expecting it to happen again, I'm planning to keep my account with them for now. But the good thing that came out of all of this is that (thanks to Mashable), I learned that it is possible to back up my Gmail account so that if it should happen again, or (more likely) I should accidentally delete my e-mails, I can restore them. The back-up can be saved to your hard-drive, disc, or protable storage device.
To do this HERE, and follow the instructions for your operating system. It's easy and fun! (Well, it'seasy, but it might take awhile, so bring a book). You might want to delete any e-mail you don't really need to save, first, because several years worth of e-mails can make a pretty large file to store. Remember that if the file is much more than 600MB, it won't fit on a disc.
Jennifer Pointer is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.