What!? — Backup My Facebook Profile Page?

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Number two! Not a bad spot to be in when your sitting behind the giant, otherwise known as Google. This is exactly where Neilsen’s ratings ranks Facebook in terms of number of visitors accessing the site. Add a little twist and it’s a whole new ball game when you look at how long each of these two hosts grab and maintains a visitor’s attention. Facebook comes out on top – over the top actually and it’s not surprising.

The amount of time a person spends on average and in total, visiting both sites differs dramatically. On a monthly basis, a Facebook user spends 6 hours and 36 minutes on the site, in contrast a Google visitor spends 1 hour and 15 minutes.

What does this mean? More and more people from around the world are filling Facebook with data — messages, photos, videos, contact information. What this means, we are spending a lot of time and energy connecting, communicating and creating stories. Now, if time is really measured in terms of money, consider how much all that time you have spent on Facebook has cost you and how would you feel if in a split second the ball drops and your account disappears from under your eyes.

Just imagine for a second. Would you flip backwards and forward with happiness of being free of this addictive daily dose of java or would you flip backwards and forward beside yourself unable to breath with anxiety?

Breath In — The Bad News

This can happen to you.

Scenario One

There are two sides to every coin. While Facebook embraces us with opportunities galore, there are rules in place one is strictly forbidden to cross. The crux of it is, you violate any of these Facebook terms and conditions, unwittingly even, and your Facebook account will be terminated. Now try to find someone to state your case. Good luck! Yes, there does exist many cases of this and Facebook users have been locked out, without knowing exactly why.

Scenario Two

Your Facebook account can also be hacked. Examples of this also abound. Quite simply, here is how one attack can affect many: a friend sends an email containing a link to click. You click it and it asks you to log into a website pretending to be Facebook. You react unassumingly and dish out your password. You have just shot yourself in the foot, that third-party website has got you!

Breath Out — The Good News

This hasn’t happened to you. Right?

You are reading this because you are pro-active and vigilant about saving yourself from future frustration, headache or even a broken back from all those backwards and forward flips!

It is true, you can backup your Facebook data. Facebook gives you the option within your profile page and you can simply follow the steps outlined in the next section.

Personally, I questioned this facility. While my profile page is nowhere near the limit of 5,000 contacts, I have spent alot of time creating albums and uploading about 200 photos per album, coupled with an extensive amount of wall postings.

I can happily report, I have been quite pleasantly surprised. The process was easy. It did take a long time for my resulting zip file to be created — about thirty minutes in fact. But the result was surprisingly organized and all very readable. Facebook creates one compressed zip file containing two subdirectories: an html directory and a photos directory.

The html directory itself consists of one html file for:

  • each of your albums (this is pretty cool — you can click on an html file and actually see each of your album’s photos)
  • your events
  • your friends (beware: this file contains a list of their facebook names, unfortunately no email addresses)
  • your messages
  • your profile, which includes contact information, interests, and groups
  • your wall posts made by you and any of your contacts (the file even includes thumbnails and links)

Your photos directory contains, get this, a subdirectory for each of your albums and each of your precious photos! While I didn’t have any videos — you apparently get these as well!

Back It Up… Now

Within your Facebook Profile page:

  1. Click Account Settings click account settings
  2. Click Learn More click learn more
  3. Click Download. You will receive an email when your archive is ready for downloading to your computer.
  4. When you click on the link emailed to you, you will be prompted for your password. Click continue. click download
  5. Last step, click download.

What? You’re passionate about backups and want to know how to backup your Facebook fan pages? That would be useful information — but can’t find an answer to this one anywhere, just yet.

Lastly, there are a couple of third-party applications claiming they will backup your Facebook data for you. Food for thought: do you really want to have someone else grab a copy of all your communication, when it’s simple enough to do it yourself?

Interested in sharing this post? How many Facebook connections do you know that most likely aren’t backing up their Facebook profiles?

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