This article is reposted courtesy of Casey Zeman.

"About a month ago a devastating thing happened.

No, no one died…

No, there wasn’t a car crash, and no,  I didn’t lose my home.

Something happened that maybe some of us take for granted. I lost apart of my Online Presence…

Now when I say our online presence I mean, anything that is a reflection of who we are or what our business is.

So for instance, that can be your blog, your twitter account, maybe your Facebook account.

Well for me, it was my YouTube account.

The sad part of the story was that I was getting some serious traffic and conversions because of my YouTube channel.  In fact right before the incident occurred my channel view count was at 300,000, and I had over 600 subscribers.  It only took 2 to 3 months to get to that place.

I have been trying to get a hold of YouTube to resolve the problem but it has been a bit difficult because really, YouTube has no reason to care about my channel being hacked and subsequently removed.  They are not a paid site, I was the one who created all the videos and put all my eggs in one basket with them.

So, let’s just say that I am currently in communication with YouTube. My YouTube Channel was a major part of my online presence, and suddenly now gone , it was quite a blow.

Mostly, because of all the time and work I put into creating it and getting traffic to and from it. I also had something similar occur with my blog back in January.  I lost all of my blogs information.

At that time my blog was hosted with WordPress.com and not WordPress.org.  WordPress.com is hosted by wordpress, which is not paid for,therefore, couldn’t be retrieved.

THAT IS THE DOWNSIDE to these third party sites that we put so much weight on.

What would you do, or how would it effect your business if your Facebook or Twitter account were suddenly removed?

I don’t know if you realize, but they don’t have to give you an explanation if they suddenly did yank it.  If you read the fine print when signing up, it says that they can cancel your profile for whatever reason.  In fact, they don’t need a reason. And why should they, it is totally free.  They have no obligation to us.

Now for someone using social networking sites for recreation and fun, maybe they don’t care.

For me, using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for my business, I get somewhat nervous about the whole thing. It feels like a very unstable situation.

I know for me, I am growing a LONG TERM business here.

Therefore I want something with more permanence.

So What is the solution?? What can we do to protect our Online presence?

ANSWER:  Use the social network sites as vehicles for filtering people into your own marketing funnel.

What do I mean by this?

Well, get them into your Autoresponder List, so that if the sky should fall right on top of Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, you would have gathered as many followers, friends, and subscribers into your Email List (Marketing Funnel) before that devastation occurred.

THE OTHER HUGE MISTAKE I MADE:   All of the videos that were embedded on my blog, my websites, and my email campaigns were all YOUTUBE VIDEOS.

So when my Channel and Videos were hacked and then removed, it effected EVERY video that I had sent out into the web.

I had to figure out how I was going to be able to switch out 40 videos that were suddenly disabled. Needless to say, this last month has SUCKED EGGS a bit because of all the mending I had to do.

However, I have learned a valuable lesson about How to prevent situations like this from happening.

I have also decided to share what I have learned with you. I will show you a few ways of avoiding having to play catch up and preparing yourself for occurrences like this. I am just glad that I didn’t have 300 videos up and had 1 million views and subscribers…

  1. Use a site that you control for your video hosting:  For instance EzS3.  If you are unfamiliar, it works with Amazon s3 to create video players and store data for you.  It is utterly affordable and worth every penny for someone who is using video in their business.
  2. Only use wordpress.org instead of WordPress.com:  In fact try to get a Blog theme that is paid for, However make sure that it has a publicly accessed Customer Service or Help Desk system.
  3. Create multiple accounts on the social network sites:  Don’t rely on just one.  Creating backups protects you.  Just like having a backup of your computer or Server.
  4. Backup all of your websites and pages everyday as well as your computer files:  This is so critical.  You can either use an external Hard Drive or a Cloud system.  Something Like CARBONITE for the cloud back up.  If you have MAC then use your Time Machine application and set it so it backs up your files automatically.  Make sure that you are Copying your Web files from the web onto your own server.  So FTP your web files onto your computer and then backup your computer.
  5. AGAIN, BACK UP ALL OF YOUR VIDEOS: As I have already said, I use EZS3 for my players and images.  It is really quite easy to upload.  If you have used an FTP client then it works the same way.  After you upload your video, you can then go through these really easy steps to creating a player for the video.  The player is that skin around the outside of the video.  They have many amazing options.  Very Cool.
  6. Always Import your data to where it can be saved.  What I mean by this is, if you have Facebook contacts or Twitter contacts, try to save them through an Export method.  I have recently discovered that you can import your contacts from Facebook with Yahoo Address Book.  So make sure you are doing that.  I use management sites for my Twitter and YouTube and that is how I can save my contacts, followers, friends and subscribers.

I created my new YouTube Channel and because I had saved previous contacts I was able to get 150 subscribers in 24 hours on a new account.

Doing these simple tasks above, can put your mind at ease a bit if and when the social networking sites start misplacing your Online Presence."

For more great information check out Casey's site at Casey Zeman Online.