A Day Without Facebook

You wake up on a sunny morning and sit in front of your computer. You login to Facebook. Account Not Found. One more. Account Not Found.

Did you forget to log-off when you accessed a public computer yesterday? Could it be wifi sniffing that intercepted your password? Was your account hacked? Or is it a rare glitch in the Facebook system? You have no idea - but nonetheless, it's gone.

Fine, you still have copies of the photos you uploaded. But how about the "Nice photo!" comment from your high school crush on your latest profile pic? How about the message containing the address of your long lost best friend? It gets worse - what will happen to your Farm? Will your thousands of Zynga poker chips go to charity?

All gone! A day without Facebook. Can you imagine that?

Protect Your Account
You can always re-create your account. It will take you months to rebuild it though. You'd have to re-friend everybody, upload all your pics and update your profile. Opting to contact Facebook about your case is a desperate measure. First, you're not even a paying customer. Second, they have billions of things on their plate.

Good thing Facebook introduced the Download your Information feature. It's the closest thing to protecting your Facebook account from total loss.

How to Download Your Information

1. Go to Account > Account Settings > Download Your Information option.

2. Click the Learn More button. You'll see the screen below.

3. Click Download.

4. Confirm request.

After a few hours, you'll receive a mail that provides a link where you can download all your profile details, photos, messages, wall and friend lists neatly packaged in a zip file. You can extract this archive and navigate it as an offline site on its own.



Preservation Only
This approach is not for prevention, but for preservation. Your backup can't be loaded back into Facebook. Once your account is gone, it's really gone for good. The backup will preserve memorable messages and comments that would have been permanently lost otherwise. It can also function as a guide as you rebuild your profile.

But knowing Facebook's constant quest for improvement, the restore feature may be available soon.

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