Tech Talk #57 – Aug. 5, 2017
Backing up your online accounts offline
The internet is a weird and wonderful place and has become something way beyond what anyone thought it could be and something no one could have predicted. From email to videos, to messaging, to images, most people have a lot of their life posted on the internet.
All of your internet content is stored on servers, and mostly everything is fine. But internet content companies do go out of business or get bought by other companies, products get discontinued, and accounts get hacked.
To safeguard your content, here’s how to create local offline copies of your online content.
Google stores your email, youtube videos, maps, photos, bookmarks and a lot more on their servers. To make a local backup, go to https://myaccount.google.com/privacy. Sign in first, if prompted. Then scroll all the way to the bottom to find the Control your content section. Under Download or transfer your data, click on Create archive. A ridiculously long list of the things you can archive pops up. Instead of having everything in one file, click the Check none button. Now, you can create individual archives of your Gmail, or your YouTube videos, or whatever you want. Just check the one thing you want to archive and click Next to create your archive. Repeat the process for each type of Google data you want an archive of.
It’s pretty much the same deal with Facebook. All of your posts, photos, chats can be downloaded into a local archive. Go to https://www.facebook.com/settings, sign in first if necessary, You should be at the General Account Settings page. Click on Download a copy of your Facebook data. When your archive is done, you’ll get an email with a link to download it to your computer. Once you’ve got it downloaded, use your browser to open up the index page, and everything is browseable from there.
This one’s a bit harder, or easier, as you’ll see.
There are no native tools to let you take your Instagram photos offline. There are third-party apps like InsSave for iOS and InstaSave for Android, but they cost money, and maybe you don’t want to trust your photos to third-party developers.
The easiest way to have offline backups of your photos is to have Instagram save them to your phone’s camera roll and back them up from there, either using OneDrive, iCloud, or Google Photos. Tell Instagram to use the camera roll in the settings on your profile page. Check the Save Original Photos and Save Videos After Posting options.
Twitter has a tool you can use to download your Twitter timeline offline.
Go to https://twitter.com/settings/account and sign if requested. Click the Request your archive button down at the bottom. When your archive is ready, you’ll get an email with a link to your archive. Download it, and you’ll have a folder of assets and an HTML file that ties them all together. Using the web page you can browse through your whole history by year and month, and the archive includes all the photos and videos you’ve posted too. It’s much easier to navigate around in than the main Twitter website.
Husband: Honey, can you hear me?
Wife: Barely. Where are you?
Husband: In the bathroom. Can you help me with something?
Wife: Sure. Did you run out of toilet paper?
Husband: No. Can you restart the router, please?
Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at email@example.com.