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Can You Trust Your Email to Web-based Mail Services?
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BusinessWeek just published Arik Hesseldahl article, "Web-Based E-Mail: Businesses Beware." The subtitle: "Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, and lots of others offer these free or low-cost services, but if there's a snafu or e-mails with essential information are lost, you're likely to be out of luck."

As reported in this blog, there are many stories of companies and individuals losing all of their email history and important records.  One major ISP reportedly lost the emails of 14,000 customers, and offered them a $50 credit as an apology.  Would $50 make up for your lost email history?

(I should point out that I was quoted twice in the article and that BusinessWeek specifically mentioned InBoxer and the DeathByEmail blog.  What did I say?  ----  If e-mail is crucial for your business, no matter how small, then it's too important to entrust to a free Web-mail service, says Roger Matus, CEO of Inboxer, an e-mail archiving gear company, who also blogs frequently on e-mail issues at E-mail accounts, he says, aren't only for communication but are now virtual filing cabinets containing important documents, contact information, sales leads, and other crucial business information. "Everything important that happens to a company these days, happens in e-mail," he says. "It's like your crown jewels, so you want to be careful in handing them over to someone else.)

My advice to you, and to everyone that uses a hosted email service, download a copy of your messages to your local hard disk as a back-up.  Free applications, like Mozilla Thunderbird, make it easy to download and keep messages.  Like me, you may prefer the web based interface for convenience and fast search.  But, back up your data to your local disk in case of catastrophe.  It won't cost you a cent. [From Death by Email blog]