Gmail may be killing YOUR e-mail, but it’ll be your fault.

Burning Gmail

I’ve been using Gmail for a couple of years now (maybe a bit more) and I haven’t encountered any such thing, but it is best to stay on your guard. Network World has run an interesting article on one complaint that Google is facing at an alarming frequency: Disappearing e-mails.

Even though Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail each have more users than Gmail, it appears that there are actually more Gmail users complaining of missing e-mail. Many clues point out towards this being a technical issue, such as the incident with Jessica Squazzo, who lost every single e-mail that she received precisely in 2007. Google denies this, claiming that the user is at fault (phishing attacks, passwords, you know what).

Even though this is something to be wary about, there are some points you need to think about. Even if this is Google’s fault for losing the e-mails, the users aren’t guilt-free – at least the ones mentioned in the article. From the article:

Moreover, both Sessum and Squazzo, interviewed separately via e-mail, question why a malicious hacker would go through the trouble of trying to access someone’s e-mail account in order to delete messages, instead of acting stealthily to harvest information they could exploit, like credit card numbers.

Well I can’t answer that, but it might be related to why some viruses delete all the data on your hard disk and/or corrupt it, as opposed to stealing your private information and your credit card numbers, which you oh-so-trustfully keep in a non-encrypted Notepad file in your My Documents folder with the name “CREDIT CARD NUMBERS.txt”

Sessum is actually “building a small company on Google’s back” and therefore trusts Google, a free internet service to not lose her data. I say bullshit – free internet services are not the first choice for building companies on. She complains about the Google support system like so:

“Google’s back-end support function is MIA. You can’t find a number to call. You have to tap our personal network of friends to find a name and a way in through the back door, do a dance and rub a stone for good luck, and hope that someone will help,” she said.

Well you didn’t pay for it , so you should expect the same treatment. I’d be grateful Google even has a support system (which I didn’t know till now).

And most importantly, for all of those complaining about how they lost all their important and/or professional data on Gmail: Gmail is in beta. Yes, it is in beta. No guarantees, no nothing. You lose something – all your fault. You build a business over a free e-mail service in beta stage and lose all your e-mail – your fault. Anything goes in beta. 😉