Posted 28/Apr 2011 at 11:58
by in Science & Tech read by 22 people

Facebook: download & backup your entire profile

Sometimes I find myself in a mood for just browsing around in the settings screens of one of the many webapps I use, to see if I can tune-up some security features. In this case the direct trigger was an episode of the Dutch talkshow De Wereld Draait Door (The World Keeps Spinning) where Alexander Klöpping talked with the host about the recent PlayStation Network hacks, and the importance of having different passwords.

Made me realize that I had had the same password on Facebook for a while, so I decided to change it. And then I found myself in the settings screens. I already knew that you could secure your account by enforcing HTTPS, and setup notifications whenever somebody (possibly you, or not) logs in to your account from an "unknown computer".

See also: Google Accounts have gotten a lot more secure

But the gem I found about yesterday I didn't know. Facebook offers the option to donwload everything you have ever posted to your profile, in your photo albums, on your wall, messages you have posted, basically everything. But of course not data stored in apps (like FarmVille) as that data is not hosted by Facebook.

To request a backup of your data, open facebook and then:

  • Choose "Account"
  • then "Account settings"
  • Look a bit down the list and click the "Learn more" in the "Donwload your information" section
  • As an extra security precaution, it asks you enter your password

It will It will take them a while to prepare the download file. In my case about an hour, but after that you'll receive an email with a link. After following the link and entering your password you will receive a zip-file containing your entire life ;) A shockingly small 6MB in my case.

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