UPDATE 3/15/2019: I finally got back into my “disabled” account and was able to tighten up the account security!
I decided to secure some long untouched, but still needed if only in the background, accounts on Google the other day. Note: These accounts would have both been long-gone had Google made it easy to move my stuff on them to my new account, but…that move is damn damn damn hard. So they remain.
The passwords on these old accounts were several years old and needed changing (badly). I also wanted to add 2-factor authentication and clean up the emails a bit.
One account worked ok as I added 2-factor authentication, changed the password, and cleaned up some very old emails. I am seeing strange characters in Chrome browser and I may address that issue at some later time……if I absolutely have to. At least that account is “secure” per 2019 standards.
The other account is another story. I was happily going about my business when the account was “suspended” right in the middle of working on it! WTF.
As I write this on Sunday morning, I am trying to get the account back (“restored”), but, so far, the automated Google account recovery software is NOT WORKING (it does not recognize me (even though all the recovery info leads right to me), and the links to Google’s “recovery form” are not going to the right place…..arrrgghh). I suspect that a real, living breathing, Google person (hmmmm, one of the ForCarol.com Scholarship winners is with Google now….if worse comes to worse, I will ask her for help!) will eventually have to get involved, since I kinda do want that account back even though I rarely use it and never use the email except to forward stray incoming emails to my new account.
Lets back up a bit: Years ago (4 or 5) I was trying to move all the stuff I had on the now “suspended” account to my newest, and final, account. It was sooooooo friggin hard to do that it simply was not worth the effort…..so I decided to “share” what I needed and made the decision to keep the old account active.
For the next 4 or 5 years everything was cool. Until I decided to firm up the security of those old accounts! What is that old saying? If it ain’t broke, don;t fix it. Arrrghh…..
Guess what? Everything I shared on the “suspended” account is now unreachable, at least on my Pixel 3 XL and on Google Drive.
Luckily, the paranoid part of me did a backup a couple of years ago.
Even though I remember thinking when I did the backups “How silly is this.?” I did them anyway. I also took those folders off of Google Drive and just kept them on my computer (where the network does not go) and, also, on an external 2 Terabit drive which is off and in a drawer on my desk
(errrr, in a fireproof safe….) 99.99 percent of the time.
Soooo, because of my paranoia all the work I did over a 6 year period is intact and accessible…..well not really, the documents I did in OpenOffice, pictures, PDF’s, etc. are all there. The docs I left in Google Docs format, are GONE! That includes old financial info, that I would like to have. See update below.
Backup the information that you have stored on the cloud!
Beware using Google Docs. At least download each one of them as Microsoft, OpenOffice, PDF etc. formats (then back up on an external drive). Do not leave them as Google Docs, especially if they are important.
I am now backing up Google Photos, because, well, paranoia is rampant in my brain at the moment. (What happens if my new account is suddenly “suspended”? ALL my photos for the past few years will be GONE! )
Hopefully, Google will resolve the “suspension” issue (and fix the automated recovery tool / app), but, if they don’t, or can’t, I am still good to go moving forward…
No progress almost 1 week later. Arrrghhh…
But I am a LOT more paranoid…..in fact, I will be better diversifying accounts, emails, etc. Starting NOW.
UPDATE: I now have Yahoo and Outlook emails and have once again downloaded OpenOffice to handle my documents on the computer. I see that files made with Google Docs rely on access to an account that may get “suspended”. Not good! Moving forward, I will continue to backup my files on Google Drive, but, will generate those files on my computer using OpenOffice, and then back them up on the 2 terabyte drive. Back to the future, thanks to being “suspended”.
Geek on! 🙂
PS: Google needs to make it easy to grab your stuff (files, photos, etc) from one account and move it to another account. People do retire, downsize, change, etc.