Facebook users get shaken up every few weeks with some kind of threat, whether it’s regarding privacy issues from within the social network itself, or outside sources—like the now-rescinded threat from Anonymous to destroy Facebook entirely in November. If your photos, friends’ contact information, and other important data are wrapped up in your Facebook account and nowhere else, it’s not a bad idea to download a copy of all of it (and back up your other data, too) for safe keeping.
The site does permit users to download a Zip file of all their Facebook data, including wall photos, profile pictures, and messages, but I doubt many users have gone through the process, so few know how it actually works—what happens, how long it takes, and what steps are required.
The company makes it sounds easy enough, but in typical Facebook fashion, it’s a lot trickier than you’d think. It took me about 80 minutes, start to finish, although most of that time (an hour) was spent waiting for an email for verification. It also took me two shots before I passed the verification test, and seeing as I am indeed who I say I am, I was rather surprised the test was so hard that I couldn’t pass it the first time around. It’s not a fool-proof test by any means, as you’ll see in this step-by-step walkthrough of the process, complete with screens shots at every stage.On the one hand, it does seem like Facebook made a good faith effort at security. It makes sense that it should be tough to download all your data from the site that hosts more user-uploaded personal information than perhaps any other. On the other hand, the verification process is very odd, and it wouldn’t be hard for someone who’s not you to pass it if they did a little poking around online. Before you try to back up your Facebook photos, message history, and information, make sure you know what you’re getting into, and set aside enough time to do it. November 5 is sooner than you think.
- Go to Account (upper right).
- Select Account Settings.
- Find and click the little link at the bottom that reads “Download a copy of your Facebook data”
- Click Start My Archive.
- Wait for an email letting you know the archive has been created.
Source : How to Back Up Your Facebook Data