(NEW YORK) -- A Google glitch that left thousands of Gmail users griping about lost messages and chats Sunday has drawn new attention to a task not likely at the top of many to-do lists: backing up.
Although less than one percent (.02 percent) of users were affected this time, according to Google, it's better to follow the Boy Scout model: Be prepared. And learn how to back up. Google offers a set of directions under Gmail Help.
Also on its site, Google provides configuration directions for popular programs such as Apple Mail, Outlook Thunderbird and Windows Mail.
Backing up Gmail to another e-mail program is free, but it means setting up another account or blending your Gmail account with another account that you might use for professional or other purposes.
If you're willing to pay $19.95, a program called Gmail Keeper will back up and save Gmail messages as a .zip file to a local disk. The downloadable program comes with a scheduling feature that can be set up to automatically back up Gmail daily, weekly or monthly (you can also opt for manual backups only).
The program also stores labels associated with each message, and, if you have several Gmail accounts, the program can back up and restore all of them.
If you want to migrate all your messages over to another account (if an old account has been hacked or overridden with spam), the tool can also help with that.
And for those who keep sensitive information stored in their Gmail messages, Gmail Keeper encrypts the mail and can password protect it.
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