Social Media Club recap from May 9, 2012 regarding backups of your digital life

Hi @smclawrence members (and others reading this blog).

Today at our meeting, a number of questions came up about backups, synchronization, and security. Fortunately, these are subjects I’ve already written about for GigaOM and you all inspired some more blog posts by yours truly so watch this space and subscribe to it!

First, we talked about services like Dropbox to synchronize information among devices such as your computer, iPhone, and Android devices. However, in this blog post I explain the difference between syncrhonization and backup. Because a synchronization has the potential to destroy data, I don’t consider it a true backup solution.

For online backups, I’ve written about a few services such as Mozy vs Carbonite and Backblaze vs Crashplan. I have specific suggestions about which services I recommend and under which circumstances. I’ll write about that in the next few weeks. I mentioned for many users that Mozy’s 2 Gigabyte backup service for free might be a good place to start.

When you start with one of these services, a few members mentioned how long it takes to run the backup and the fact they bump into data caps with Knology (formerly Sunflower Broadband). There is a way around this I wrote about and although it’s written for a Mac audience, it’s just as applicable for PC users.

The issues of passwords came up and some people mentioned products such as mSecure and another popular one such as 1Password and even using Evernote via Dropbox. I discussed an article I wrote about using your address book to “hide” your passwords.

At the end, we discussed hosting a website via Dropbox for free (which is great for MobileMe users losing their webhosting on June 30th, 2012).

At the end, the one “take away” tip I gave was how to backup your Facebook account. It’s simple

When in Facebook, go to the dropdown triangle on the far right hand side:

Choose Account Settings

Then click at the bottom where it says “Download a copy”

You’ll get this screen next and just click “Start my Archive”

Confirm it’s “Okay”

and then you’ll get an email that is a zip file that includes all your Facebook info. You can’t restore off of it, but at least if your account gets hacked or corrupt you can reconstruct your digital life.

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