Tag Archives: backup

Facebook Privacy Basics

Facebook Terms & Policy Update – What does it mean for your data?

If you have a Facebook account you may have noticed a little icon pop up in the top right of your account making you aware about the latest Facebook terms and policy changes.  Most people tend to ignore these small changes but it is always worth noting how recent changes affect who owns your data.

The latest changes on Facebook attempt to make it clearer who has access to your data and how.  The big changes are mainly in the area of tracking data on your mobile device.  So if you are a mobile user your usage statistics including GPS data will now be stored against your Facebook account.  Also included in this recent update is a log of websites you have visited whilst you are logged into Facebook.  This information is collected and used to help advertisers target advertisements that are more relevant to your interests.  Whilst this information has been collected in the past it hasn’t been as clear what it was being used for.

If you don’t want Facebook to know where you have been and when, the advice online is to use the web version of Facebook rather than the Facebook app.  This way you keep your location data private when you are out and about.

What can we do to help you manage your data?

SocialSafe which is transitioning to Digi.Me can help you manage and store your social media content including your Facebook data. At the end of the day your data belongs to you and as such we provide you with the tools to take a copy of your data from Facebook (along with many other data sources) and store it locally so that you have your data on your computer. This means that if there is an outage on Facebook or you decide that you no longer wish to use a social media provider you can download a copy of your data including your images and status updates.  You no longer have to lose those all important moments that you once shared with friends, family and colleagues.  Give SocialSafe a try today by clicking on the link below. It’s free and puts you in control of your data! (Plus there is so much more you can do with your data when you have it all to yourself!)

Try SocialSafe

Second #FacebookDown Outage In Recent Weeks – Is Your Data Safe?

Last night the users of a social network were once again separated from the content they’d created and the conversations they’d had, after another outage restricted access to the site. The #FacebookDown hashtag spread across other social networks after users were subjected to the second Facebook outage within a few weeks.

Dislike. Thumb down sign on white background. 3d

It wasn’t an overwhelmingly long outage, with Facebook working again for most users within half an hour. Facebook later confirmed that the cause of the problem was caused by and error the team encountered while making an infrastructure configuration change. Short outage or not, if there is crucial information locked within a social network – and think of all the messages that you might need to refer to – then these sorts of outages can become very problematic:

Others took a slightly more comedic stance at the news:

The point remains that whenever you don’t have a copy of your content, then you can never be fully in control of it. Yesterday’s outage – along with other recent instances of social network downtime – only serves to highlight the importance of keeping a backup of your content.

SocialSafe allows you to download your social network posts, pictures, messages and more, directly to your own PC or Mac. Once there, you have the freedom to browse, view, search and do more with that content. The built-in features such as Collections, Insights and PDF Export really do put you in control of your content.

To start backing up your content now, download SocialSafe for free.

How To Back Up Your Instagram Hyperlapse Videos

Instagram has just released Hyperlapse – a standalone app allowing you to create simple time-lapse videos – and with SocialSafe you can back these up to your own library, along with any comments and likes.

Hyperlapse is pretty much as simple as point, shoot, share, except you get to choose the speed at which the movie plays. Aside from the variable clip speed, the only other frill is the automated video stabilisation that should hopefully avert any motion sickness you might encounter from particularly shaky camera work. If you choose to share the video in Instagram, then you can add as filters as you would with any other Instagram video.

In a blog post announcing the new app, Instagram said: “We designed Hyperlapse to be as simple as possible.”

There’s no need to sign up either.  Once you’ve recorded your clip and chosen the speed (you can choose from 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x, or 12x), the video is saved to your camera roll and you then have option to share it to Facebook or Instagram. So there’s no need to worry about building up your followers/friends on a new platform.

Want to see Hyperlapse in action?

20 Creative Hyperlapses From Instagram’s New App

What this also means is that if you publish your videos to Instagram, you can back up Hyperlapse videos with SocialSafe! Just as existing Instagram photos and videos can be downloaded to your SocialSafe library, any Hyperlapse videos you publish to Instagram will also be backed up – along with the comments and likes.

If you’re using our Instagram companion app ‘Likes’ (available in the app store – only for iOS at this moment), you’ll also be able to save to your iPhone any Hyperlapse videos from other users that you have liked on Instagram.

You can back up your own Instagram account, as well as your content from a number of other social networks, by downloading the SocialSafe desktop app.

Instagram Moved 20 Billion Photos To Facebook – Did Any Fall Through The Cracks?

Unbeknownst to the hundreds of millions of Instagram users, the infrastructure that holds all of their photographic creations has quietly been dismantled, relocated and rebuilt. Impressive stuff, when you consider the quantities of data involved – the service now stores in excess of 20 billion digital photos.

Since 2010 Instagram had been using Amazon’s cloud computing service, but the number of virtual machines required to run Instagram on Amazon was getting in “the thousands”. Historically, when Facebook had acquired other, smaller properties, the process involved shutting down the service in order to incorporate it into the world of Facebook. However, according to Facebook engineer George Cabrera, in the case of Instagram “the service couldn’t take any disruption”.

So in what Facebook called ‘Instagration’, the team in essence had to carry out multiple organ transplants while both patients were still conscious. Or as Mike Kreiger, founder of Instagram, explained:

“The users are still in the same car they were in at the beginning of the journey, but we’ve swapped out every single part without them noticing.”

The project was complicated, but the team behind the data transfer have successfully transitioned Instagram to now run from its own dedicated machines inside one of Facebook’s facilities. If you’re particularly interested in what the team had to do to make sure the whole thing went off without a hitch, then check out this article by WIRED’s Cade Metz:

How Facebook Moved 20 Billion Instagram Photos Without You Noticing

While everything seemed to go smoothly, whenever your content or data is held by a network or third-party that may encounter scaling issues or could indeed be absorbed into another company’s infrastructure, there will also be a concern that data could be lost along the way. While the ‘Instagration’ is a great example of data migration done well, it’s also a reminder that there’s always the potential that the actions of others could cost you what’s yours.

We believe that the individual should be the one who owns and controls their personal data, and that is why we built the SocialSafe application to allow you to download your Instagrams, Facebook Messages, Tweets, Followers and so on, all to your very own personal data store. There’s no reason to think that the networks themselves won’t look after the originals properly, but accidents can and do happen, so why take the risk?

Start building you own personal data library today, by downloading SocialSafe for free, and backing up your memories from the social networks you use.

As We Experience Another #FacebookDown Outage, Is Your Data Safe?

This morning we woke up to discover that we were in the middle of another Facebook outage, with anyone trying to access the site seeing the following error message for half an hour or so:

facebook down

I had actually logged on to Facebook before the outage hit, but it was when I came to sending a message – or indeed looking back through my old Facebook Messages – that I found that there was a problem:

facebook down

As you’d expect, the satire army were deployed on alternative networks with immediate effect, pointing out the monotony of certain themed posts that have been doing the rounds from seemingly everyone recently, or offering a tongue-in-cheek explanation as to how the problem was fixed:

Facebook employee Tom Logan said: “Somehow a dead bird had gotten wedged between the nuclear-powered servers, triggering a meltdown.

“Mark [Zuckerberg] knew doing the reboot was a one way journey. He refused a protective suit, as he was fully aware that it could not stop his organs liquefying.

“As the door slid shut behind him, he turned and gave a thumbs up through the hatch. It was the bravest thing I’ve ever seen.”

- The Daily Mash

Obviously this is not quite how things turned out at Facebook HQ, but things are thankfully now back to normal. Speaking to CNET, a Facebook spokesperson said:

“Earlier this morning, we experienced an issue that prevented people from posting to Facebook for a brief period of time. We resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100 per cent. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

While things are working again properly now, at the time the outage may have caused considerable inconvenience for many people. We often forget how much information is stored on the social networks we use on a daily basis, and many of us give little thought to what might happen if this information were to become unavailable – temporarily or otherwise.

With SocialSafe you can protect yourself against the risk of periodic separation from, or complete loss of, your social network information by downloading your own copy of your Facebook content to your own personal data store. To take control of your data now and to avoid the risk of someone else losing it, download SocialSafe for free!

Twitter Outage – How To Access Your Tweets, DMs, Mentions and More…

Last night saw another Twitter outage affecting users of both the mobile app and the web version of the social network. For some people the outage lasted almost and hour, but the issue was resolved by around midday PDT.

The disruption was an unfortunate side effect of some maintenance work being carried out by Twitter, as the company explained:

“During a planned deploy in one of our core services, we experienced unexpected complications that made Twitter unavailable for many users starting at 11:01am. We rolled back the change as soon as we identified the issue and began a controlled recovery to ensure stability of other parts of the service. The site was fully recovered by 11:47am PDT. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

While the outage was scarcely more than three-quarters of an hour, it was still an inconvenience for many, and could have had caused serious problems for some individuals and businesses. With more and more of us using Twitter as the first line of communication, not being able to access the information contained in our tweets, mentions, DMs and more could leave you missing an all important phone number or email address right we need it.

As reliable as social networks are on the whole, there is no getting away from the fact that they do have occasional difficulties and experience periods of downtime. In order to avoid any potential problems caused by such outages, it’s advisable to keep a local copy of your social network content.

SocialSafe allows you to take control of your content by downloading your Facebook messages, tweets, DMs, wall posts and much more to your own library that your own and store. So whatever happens to the originals online, whether they are deleted forever or just become temporarily unavailable, you’ll always be able to access your content if it’s in your SocialSafe library.

Is Your Email Provider The Skeleton Key Hackers Are After?

In the case of protecting your social network accounts, it’s not necessarily the individual networks that may be the weak link in the chain. When you think about the mechanism by which you log in to all of the different services and networks that you use on a daily basis, there is usually one common denominator – an email address.

Today you may have read the story of how Naoki Hiroshima was extorted into giving up his Twitter username worth $50,000 after an attacker had managed to change the account settings on his GoDaddy domains, which his personal email stemmed from. Without reprinting the whole story here, things went from bad to worse for Naoki before he eventually gave in to the demands in order to prevent complete disaster that would have befallen him if he’d lost control of his domains permanently.

It’s well worth reading the his blog, as it highlights some issues with PayPal and GoDaddy that you’d be well advised to familiarise yourself with if you use either service:

My $50,000 Twitter Username Was Stolen Thanks to PayPal and GoDaddy

Going back to the broader issue of using the same email address (and password) to log in to a variety of different services and networks, if that email becomes compromised, you could be in a lot of trouble. While there may be ways to prove to your email provider that your account has been hacked (many ask you to provide a second email address for just such eventualities), the turnaround period can leave plenty of time for the imposter to wreak havoc through your digital life.

Social networks, online shops and a plethora of other services usually have a ‘Forgot Your Password?’ button, which will send a password reset link to your registered email address. If you aren’t in control of that email address at the time, it would be very easy – as Naoki discovered – for an attacker to change the login details on your network or other accounts. So even when regain control of your email account, it may be too late to salvage the other parts of your online life.

At SocialSafe, we may not be able to help you with adding an extra layers of security to your networks or other online accounts, but we can help you to preserve your content should anything happen to the original networks. Use SocialSafe to download your Facebook Messages, photos, wall posts, updates, tweets, Instagrams and so much from your social networks, and store it on your own machine in your own personal data store. So whatever happens to your live accounts, your memories will be safe forever in your own personal library, that you control.

Leaving Facebook For Snapchat? How To Avoid Leaving Your Memories Behind

There have been many articles written this week about the apparent exodus of teenagers from Facebook. According to a report released on Wednesday by iStrategyLabs, 25% fewer US teenagers use Facebook now than in 2011. In real numbers, that equates to in excess of 3 million users.

The services said to be benefiting from this are Snapchat and Instagram, which have had young adults flocking to them in droves. Facebook already owns Instagram, so no great shakes there, but having had a $3bn acquisition offer recently rejected by Snapchat, Facebook may well be feeling slightly aggrieved that a certain demographic of it users is migrating elsewhere.

However, Facebook and Snapchat are decidedly different platforms. While the instant messaging functionality is common to both, one is geared towards the gradual and continual build up of historic content, while the other is very much a single-use medium, where short messages have a half-life, after which they are gone for good.

So are teenagers less bothered about keeping permanent records of their lives, or later on in life being able to look back at what they have done online? Whatever the answer, we at SocialSafe would urge everyone to keep a backup of their social network content.

Even if you reach a point where you’ve lost interest in a certain service or format, you never know when you might want to look back and find a particular post or message from a specific person, or relive all of the moments that are captured not only in your photographs, but also the comments left by your friends.

To download your Facebook messages, photos, updates and more, use SocialSafe to create your library of you. Because leaving a social network doesn’t mean having to leave your memories.

How To Back Up A Blog Via RSS – Video Demo

Many of you will already be backing up your blogs with SocialSafe, but for those of you who aren’t here’s a very quick demo to show you how to get started:

As you’ll see in the video, you can back up a blog in SocialSafe by simply pasting in the blog URL and backing up the content via RSS. When you back up a blog using SocialSafe, any images contained within the posts will also be backed up, and these can be viewed in a separate display, as well as within the posts themselves. You’re also able to view the original posts online by simply clicking the link within SocialSafe.

Because the blogs are backed up via RSS, you may need to change the settings within your blog itself in order to allow as many posts as possible to be backed up by SocialSafe. We do have plans to integrate full support for individual blogging platforms in due course, but in the mean time you can back up, search, view and export your content via RSS.

To stay up to date with all of our how-to guides, tutorials and new feature demos, please head over to our YouTube channel and subscribe. If you aren’t already using SocialSafe, you can download our desktop social network backup tool for free.

Archive-It Offers Courses And Tools To Help US Students Archive Web Content

Anyone who knows anything about SocialSafe will understand how passionate we are about the idea of looking back at our own content and making sure that you always have a safe copy of what matters to you. So when we heard what Archive-It are doing to offer archiving courses and tools to students, we thought it was worth sharing with you all.

Archive-It is a web archiving service developed for organizations to capture, build, and manage collections of web content. Since 2007 they have been included in six different curricula for graduate level information programs in the US, and the Archive-It Partner Specialists offer students training and tools.

The aim is to show them how to archive content, but in a contextual manner which will actually have practical uses in relation to other course topics and to give students skills and tools that will help them as they move forward in their career paths. Institutions such as the University of Michigan School on Information have already used Archive-It as a focal point in their courses, with further partnerships to come with the University of North Carolina and the New York University.

Clearly we believe in the practice of backing up and archiving,  but unfortunately, the moment people realise that they need to back up their content is after they suffer a data loss, by which time it’s already too late. So we’re thrilled to see Archive-It taking proactive steps to instill this mentality to students in a practical way.