Published on June 7th, 2012 | by Ivan Widjaya0
How to Back Up Your Social Media Content
Last week I had a terrible experience: My Google account has been hijacked. When I was about to access my Google Calendar, I found that I can’t log in using the credentials I usually use. Trying to login using my Gmail address, I was given a message telling me that I have changed my password several hours ago. This could happen if I mistype my password, but the problem is, I didn’t!
So, Google is nice enough to offer an option for me to choose when I think the change was unauthorized. I follow through the helpful instruction, and I learned that my account was hacked. Fortunately, I entered full contact information – including secondary email and mobile phone number. I then received a code sent by Google via SMS. Voila! I can reset the password!
Now, looking for more details, I follow Google’s instruction and I learned that my account was accessed by an IP originating from France (not necessarily someone from France, but whatever it is, it’s not me.) I then marked the IP as suspicious and it’s being reported to Google.
But the surprises don’t stop there – that’s just the beginning.
I then found out that my Google+ account’s posts and pages are all wiped out. The other Google services I use are unaffected, though – thank God. But anyhow, losing all my G+ posts and pages is pretty devastating. I’ve been working on them for quite some time, mainly for my other blogs’ branding and marketing (I run several blogs.) Now I have to start from scratch. Ouch.
You know what, deleting Google+ account and/or content is very easy – you can find the option from the Google account setting page. Just choose your desired action, and voila! Your content is gone at one push of a button. This is what I think the hijacker does – for whatever reasons he/she might have.
Well, it’s useless to shed tears over things that already happened. I pick up the pieces and move on. Learning from my experience, I then decide to use web services I should do ages ago. Lessons learned – the hard way…
So, to avoid experiencing what I have gone through, I recommend you to read and follow these tips carefully:
1. Do you have Google account?
If so, you should use Data Liberation feature found in your Google account setting page. You can back up Picasa Web Album photos, Profile data, Stream data, Buzz data, Knol data and Google+ circles and contacts.
2. Want to back up your social media accounts using all-in-one service?
If so, I strongly recommend you Backupify. You can automatically back up your Facebook account and fan pages, Twitter, Flickr, Picasa, Linkedin, Blogger (yes, you can backup your blog!), Zoho and Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Sites and Drive.) It’s very easy to use – sign up, log in, choose which social media account to backup, click ‘add service’, and you’re done! Backupify’s basic plan is free for up to 1 GB storage and 3 social media accounts.
I also suggest you to read this useful article from Sitepoint suggesting you 13 tools to back up your social media content.
I, like many others, start backing up after it’s all too late. Well, it’s better late than never… however, it’s even better to be safe than sorry; precaution is king; if you consider your social media accounts to be important for your life and/or business, then it’s a no brainer: You must backup your social media accounts.
And yes, just follow the basics: Change your password regularly, never share or write down your password, etc. You don’t really know how it feels like when someone hijack or hack your account until it happens with you. Well, let me tell you this: It’s devastating, and it feels awful; cursing at your laptop, desktop or tablet’s screen won’t help at all.
So, here’s a one-liner for you: Back up now and back up often.
Any scary story about having your social media accounts hijacked? Share with us!