Oh!!… Where's my PST ??

I was wondering a while ago, about my e-mail inbox…

What if one day you wake up and you find your mailbox completely empty? What if you would be using your e-mail, and at one point an error pops up and tells you that your mailbox data-files (PST files) are corrupt or un-readable? What if you are using a web-mail application, you find out that someone has hacked in your e-mail account and deleted everything! or maybe even your account gets deleted?

My first reaction would definitely be – a complete shock – and it would take me a couple of minutes/hours to recover from such a shock!! Then, after when I would start realising all the stuff I have lost, the screaming and swearing would start and maybe some occasional head bang on the keyboard!

I do not use any e-mail software myself (like outlook express or Microsoft outlook) so data-file problems don’t worry me much. I setup all my e-mail accounts to forward all the mails to my Gmail. Since I move around a lot, I need something that can be as mobile as I am, and at the time, Gmail was my best option since it was the first time a web-mail provider offered 2gb of web-mail space. (It’s more like 3gb now… and growing!)

I thought everything would be fine with that, since I don’t run the risk of losing e-mails due to bad pst files, harddisks going bad, viruses and all other problems that could effect my data files. However recently, a friend of mine, pointed out that these web-mail companies do have a line in their usage policies that they have the right to disable or delete any account. That would probably screw me up big time if it happened.

That makes me wonder…. do YOU have a backup plan to this mishap? Do you keep printed backups of your e-mails? Do you backup your PST files often? And in an organisation… its enforced by law that you have all e-mails saved for a certain amount of years!

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