Facebook has a useful little tool under “Account settings” which allows you to download your Facebook information in zip format. This includes all your photos albums, videos that you have uploaded on Facebook, friend lists, private messages, tagged photos, and other wall posts that have been shared on your all by friends.
Good news is that Facebook has just expanded this feature to include more information, now you can download more information from your Facebook account that includes friend requests (both approved and pending), IP addresses used to login to your Facebook account and previous names.
To download a complete archive of your Facebook data, login to your Facebook account, click the drop-down enu on the extreme right top corner and choose “Account settings”. Next, choose “Download a copy of your Facebook data” and Facebook will pack all your Facebook information into a ZIP file and will email it to you when its ready.
Depending upon how big or small your Facebook account is, it may take some time until your Facebook archive is ready to download. For example, if you have more than 200 photos uploaded on your Facebook profile, you will have to wait for a couple of hours until you receive the download link of the archive on your email inbox.
This feature is not new but the good thing is that now you can keep a log of all the devices and IP addresses from where your Facebook account was accessed. If you see any inconsistencies or a device which you don’t own, change your Facebook password immediately and unlink all unknown devices.
I highly recommend setting up Facebook login approvals and real time login alerts on your mobile, if you want to keep your Facebook account secure from unauthorized access. Imagine the scenario if a hacker manages to login to your Facebook account, he will instantly have access to all the private messages, photos and everything. The good thing here is that he won’t be able to download your Facebook account history, as the ZIP archive is sent to your email inbox and not available inside your Facebook account. Another reason why you should choose different passwords for your email, Facebook and other online accounts.
Please note that using the expanded archive, you wont be able to download comments which you have posted on a friend’s posts, photos, wall posts and so on. And neither it is possible to download all the status updates where you have been tagged by friends. The archive keeps you in the centre and lets you backup posts, photos, videos, device names, messages, IP addresses and other important information from your Facebook account.
One big disappointment is that Facebook still wont export the email addresses and contact details of your friends but here is a smart workaround which you can use to your advantage. The expanded archive option was made available recently; employers were alleged for asking employees for their Facebook account credentials and this hasn’t gone very well with Facebook Inc.