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wnylibrarian's picture

Google Ouroboros Day 0

Thank God. It's over. Thank all Google technicians, the ones I spoke to, and the ones I didn't, on getting my situation resolved. I can now say I've once again reclaimed access to my account after, rather stupid and foolishly, locking myself out with bad and outdated recovery information preventing me from getting back in.

Now I'm doing what I promised Google technical support I would do. Pay it forward. The only way I can think of doing that is to ask everyone to make sure, what ever account you may have, that your recovery account information is current and up to date. It doesn't matter if its Google, your bank account, another account with a vendor that you frequent -- just go in there periodically and make sure that any account recovery options you have are current. We live in a world of oil pipeline hacks, ransomware, and endless streams of DoS attacks and heaven knows what else. Security is important. Cyber security has never been more vital. I do not blame Google or anyone for have strict account security privacy. Its done to protect the end user, but the end user has the responsibility as well to make sure that when something nefarious goes down both sides can pull the account out of the muck. I admittedly did not do that, I got careless, and it took me sleepless nights over the last couple weeks fighting to get it back. I harp on having back ups. I check them often, but here I didn't check a most basic aspect -- account recovery data.

So my advice is don't do what I did. Go into your accounts and make sure that if you have a secondary email for account recovery set that you can access it -- that it's not outdated. How would it be if your recovery email is set for a job that you no longer working -- and you no longer have access to that email account? Or a changed phone number? You've been meaning to change it but haven't gotten around to it yet. Or if you had to receive a text that the recovery phone is not a land line? Verifying the information will also resolve many sleepless nights when the cyberstorm hits.

I've gone a step forward by putting in a recurring scheduled task to every six months go into my accounts and make sure nothing needs updating. Maybe I should do it more often, but six months seemed like a nice round number. People often do spring cleaning, weeding of the garden, and at the very least we need to do it in our cyber attic as well.

So that is my advice. Weed your cyber garden where necessary. That doesn't mean throw everything out with the bathwater. It just means make it a point to look the cyber garden over periodically. Otherwise, like me, you'll learn the hard way of wishing you had done it sooner.