If you don’t already believe in the poofy white safety of the cloud… keep disbelieving. A Gmail bug has deleted the inboxes, contact lists, folders, tags, and the like of over 150 000 users.
At time of writing, Google has confirmed that it’s been able to fix the problem for some users:
“A very small number users are having difficulty accessing their Gmail accounts, and in some cases once they’re in, trouble viewing e-mails. This is affecting less than .08% of our Gmail user base, and we’ve already fixed the problem for some users. Our engineers are working as quickly as possible and we hope to have everything back to normal as soon as possible. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience.”
Whether or not everyone will get their mail back remains to be seen. And although it’s highly probable they will – and though 150k isn’t an awful lot of people in the grand scheme of things – the lesson here is that the cloud is not a talisman of immunity from lost data or any other problem that could befall your home computer. You should always have a backup – always, always, always.