If you ever want to be sure you have your most important information backed up, please consider securing your social networking information too. Facebook makes it pretty easy with a “Download Your Information” service. Here are the simple steps to saving your Friends list, photos, videos, posts and other Facebook data on your desktop, on a CD or in the cloud (as you prefer.)
First, make sure you are logged in to your Facebook Account. Click on the “Account” down arrow at the top right portion of your screen. This will open more options including “Account Settings”, which you should select. On the new page that opens, you’ll be on the “Settings” tab. Scroll down the page until you see “Download Your Information.” Click “Learn More”. This takes you to another page where you will be asked to enter your Facebook password to continue.
Then Facebook will begin processing your data. This takes a few minutes, depending on the size of your Friend list and the amount of other information associated with your account. When the processing is completed, you will receive an email in the account associated with your Facebook account. Go to your email and open the one from Facebook titled “Your Download is Ready.” There is a link to connect and retrieve your download file.
It is downloaded in a zipped (or compressed) file. Each category of information (“Photos”; “Videos”; “Friends”, etc) is in an HTML format. If you want to you can export to any number of more convenient formats. For example, I’ve saved my “Friends” list as an Excel spreadsheet by right mouse clicking on the open file and saving in an Excel XML file format. Once you’ve saved the file to your computer, you can edit it, burn it to disk, save all or portions of the file, etc. You can upload to online storage such as Norton Online Backup or burn the file to removable storage. If you keep the file on your computer or locally on disk or external drive, be sure your data is secure and you take normal precautions to keep the information private such as encrypting or password protecting the file.