Although free web-based email services such as Gmail (and Hotmail and Yahoo! mail) offer great features and convenience at a great price, they are subject to outages and data loss. The simplest way to protect yourself is to make a local copy of your cloud-based email box with an email client installed on your personal computer. With the tweak of just a few Gmail settings, you can download all your email messages to your own computer for safekeeping (assuming, of course, that you already have a backup plan in place for your computer!) Wired How-To Wiki explains exactly how to do this with the free email program Mozilla Thunderbird.