Do you rely on web based e-mail like Yahoo or Gmail? Now is the time to create a backup. By Jamie Dolan

I recently logged into my Yahoo Mail account.  This hasn’t been my primary account for a number of years, so I use it somewhat infrequently.  I needed to look up the information for a contact, so I clicked on the “Contacts” tab.  I had a total of 3 contacts. Excuse me, 3 contacts?  I’ve had this account for around 12 years now, used it to send thousands of messages and received many tens of thousands of messages on it.  I had even paid Yahoo for additional storage for a number of years prior to their free space allocation increase. I knew for a fact that my address book contained well over 100 entries, many of which also included my physical contact information for people such as phone numbers and street addresses.  After all this was my primary address book / contact manager from 1997 to 2005, before I switched  to Gmail in 2005.

I promptly  contacted Yahoo, and found that they had a process to restore a missing address book. I guess this kind of thing just happens on Yahoo.  My first message went out to Yahoo technical support.  About a day later I got a response back that my address book had been restored. Wow, what a relief, I sure didn’t want to loose that data.  I logged into Yahoo, clicked on my “Contacts” tab, and to my surprise, I only had 3 contacts.

I composed and sent this message back to the person at Yahoo who wrote me telling me the address book was restored:

“Dear Samantha,

Thank you for your assistance. I looked at my address book,
and I only see 3 contacts present. I don’t know the exact
number of contacts I had on yahoo, but it was well over 100.
It’s been several months since I looked up an address on my
yahoo account, so I am unsure as to the exact time the
problem occurred. I there anything you can do to help me?

Thanks very much,

Jamie Dolan”

I just looked at my inbox and about an hour ago, someone at Yahoo responded;

“Hello Jamie,

Thank you for contacting Yahoo! Mail Customer Care.

I understand your Address Book data has gone missing. I apologize for
any inconvenience that this has caused you.”

Excellent, a real person read my message and understands my problem; now lets see what they are going to do.

“At this time, we were not able to restore the extra information that you
listed in your response back to your Address Book data. It appears that
your contacts have gone missing.”

“This is a very rare occurrence, and we appreciate your reporting this
incident to us so we can better maintain and improve our services.

In the future, we recommend making a backup copy of your data.”

They went on to apologize.  They were polite and professional.  My compliments to Yahoo customer service (Ever try to get a hold of someone at Google?  You kind of have to know someone that knows someone to even get close to a Google employee).

Bottom line; they did lose my whole address book, which is very irritating.  They went on to suggest I backup my address book in the future.  You think that I would have known that was a good idea wouldn’t you?

I’m done, I’m sick of hard drives crashing system glitches, and so on.  Data loss is a major pain, and you don’t have to tolerate it anymore.

I’m heading over to and signing up for an account.  What is jungle disk?  It’s the last back-up solution you ever need to get.  Install it and forget it.  It is a small application that runs on your computer and uploads your data to a secure network of cloud computers.  You can choose between using Amazons S2 file storage system and Rackspace’s (Mosso) Cloud Files hosting platform.  Amazon has had a lot of success with their hosting platform, but has had several incidents, including user reported data loss.

Your other choice is Rackspace Cloud Files (formerly known as Mosso).This can be used as the storage location for your files.  Rackspace is cheaper than Amazon S3 at the time of this writing.  Rackspace also uses a slightly different structure for storing  files which includes more redundancy than Amazon.

Take a few minutes, using whatever method you choose to back up your important files, including your web based e-mail and address book. This small effort will save headaches and grief in the future.


Jamie Dolan

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