I’m sure that every security professional would agree with me when I say a good backup is essential for your data’s security. It’s easy to recommend solutions to back up your data on your local computer, but what about all of your stuff online, e.g., all of those wall posts, notes, messages, photos, and videos you have on Facebook?
While there are commercial services which will to this for you, e.g., Backupify, there are also ways that you can back up your social network data yourself. As it happens, Facebook has a nifty feature which you can use to back up your Facebook content; it’s simple, and in my test, it worked really well. Simply log in to your Facebook account, click Account, Account Settings, then under “Download Your Information,” click “learn more.” You will then be shown the screen in the picture at right, where you are told, among other things, that “This file contains sensitive information. Because this download contains your profile information, you should keep it secure and take precautions when storing, sending or uploading it to any other services.” Clicking the “Download” button will start the process on Facebook’s end to generate an archive of all of your info. They send you an email when the file is ready for you to download.
When you download the zip file, this size of which will be determined by the amount of content you’ve uploaded to Facebook, you can unzip it and examine the contents. The data is presented in a very clean and organized fashion, and you can either browse the contents as you would other files on your computer, or as a mini website, which is essentially your Facebook profile carved out from the rest of Facebook. In fact, if you are inclined to leave Facebook and start your own vanity site elsewhere, you could take the content, as is, upload to a hosting service, and you’d be done! Bear in mind, however, that this would include all of your private content, messages, etc., regardless of privacy settings that you may have set in the full Facebook interface.