The cloud is wonderful. Google Apps, Twitter, Gmail, etc. It’s a great way of making sure everything you have is available wherever you are. That said, could there ever come a day when Google’s apps aren’t available to you?

It’s possible.

If you have stored anything of value in the cloud, make sure you have a local copy. If you have stored anything of value on your local computer, make sure there’s a cloud copy.

Could Google ever fail?

GOOG - Google Inc. - Google Finance

It’s possible.

Lehman Brothers was a venerable institution, a 148 year old firm, that lost it all. Or Merrill Lynch, which vanished overnight after 94 years. In turbulent times, anything is possible.

How much trouble would you be in if the cloud weren’t available when you woke up tomorrow morning?

Not saying any of the Web 2.0 companies we’ve come to love and rely on are in danger, but given how much uncertainty there is, you owe it to yourself to be backing up your important stuff. Buy an external hard drive or two – 4 GB USB flash drives are $3 now and 320 GB drives the size of a hip flask are $150 – (disclosure: paid affiliate links for the Student Loan Network) – and keep copies of the things that matter to you.

Other useful tips:

Back up Google Docs with Greasemonkey and Firefox

Back up GMail with Thunderbird

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