Reasons For Email Archiving
Stop for a moment and consider how much invaluable information is currently stored in your email inbox. Conversations with business contacts, information about jobs past and present, essential file attachments, contracts, and more. A disk drive failure could wipe out in a second the incredible resource that is your email archive.
Perhaps even worse, failure to use appropriate email archiving could cost you your business in court. HIPAA, SOX, and an alphabet soup of other regulations either mandate or indicate that email archiving should be put in place for various businesses to protect patients (HIPAA), investors (SOX), and other innocent third-parties. Failure to comply with the law can result in both fines and possible jail time.
Email Archving For Single Users
You can easily implement email archving for yourself using a free add-on for Outlook written by Microsoft: Personal Folder Backup for Outlook. It will create a backup of your email immediately and then remind you to create new backups of your email on a regular basis to keep you safe and in compliance with applicable laws.
To get Personal Folder Backup for Outlook, go to Microsoft.com and search for “Personal Folders Backup”. Download the executable, run it, and restart Outlook. Then go to the File menu and choose the new Backup option. The wizard will walk you through email archving the first time and then help you schedule reminders for when to update your email archive.
Before you grow complacent, remember that this email backup with be destroyed along with your original emails if your main drive fails. For that reason, we suggest that you use Personal Folder Backup for Outlook to store your email archive on another disk drive.
Also note that this type of email archving may not put you in full compliance with applicable regulations as any email you delete from your email account will no longer be archived, so unless you keep all of the files created by Personal Folder Backup for Outlook, you may need to find a more advanced solution.
Email Archving Automatically To A Remote Server
You can also use an online email archiving service to automatically create backups of your email even while you work. The backups are then stored on a remote server so you can sleep tight at night—even if your office goes up in flames, your emails will still be safe. Plus, if you use this option, all the rest of your files will be safe too.
You can get started with automatic email archiving for free using Mozy, which offers 2 GB of backup storage for free. Paid plans cost $5.99 a month for 50 GB and $9.99 a month for 125 GB. To get started, go to Mozy.com and sign up for a free account, download their software, and install it. Then use the Windows Find File wizard to find your .pst files which store your email in Outlook. After you find them, use Mozy to back them up.
Probably my favorite feature in Mozy is that it will automatically backs up your email files every time you change them. Got a new email? Mozy email archiving goes to work. Deleted some spam? Mozy backs up your file again. Moved some emails to a different folder? Mozy instantly updates its backup.
If you realize you made a mistake—for example you deleted the wrong email—you can use Mozy to retrieve an old version of your email archive for up to 30 days after you make a change. That means you have 30 days to realize you deleted the wrong email.
Email Archving For Small and Large Businesses
The largest email provider in the world, Google (GMail), offers the same email archiving it uses for its own corporate compliance to any size business. In addition to email archiving, you also get a ton of other great features from Google: virus filtering to keep you safe, spam filtering to keep you productive, encryption to help you comply with HIPAA and other regulations, and server-side filtering to help you manage email.
All of these features are provided by the Google Postini service, which costs only $25 a year for each user for 1 year of email retention. Up to 10 years of email retention is available for $45 a year for each user.
Google Postini requires that you have your own email server. Many medium and large businesses do, but many small businesses do not. For small businesses, the best solution is to use Google Apps for Business which includes up to 25 GB of email archving for each user account. It also includes numerous other features not part of regular GMail. Google Apps for Business costs $50 a year for each user—more than Postini but less than backing up your email to Mozy.
Conclusion: Email Archiving Is As Easy As It Is Essential
You know how important email archving is and you’ve now seen how easy it is to implement, so why risk your business by waiting? Now is the time to find the right email archiving solution for you.