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Daily Authority: 🍳 The Google account nightmare
🥶 Greetings and welcome back to the Daily Authority. We hope you had a great weekend! Unlike my colleagues in the global north (and like many of you, dear readers), I just experienced one of the coldest nights of the year. But don’t worry, soon I’ll be the one complaining about excessive heat. And no, I’m not looking forward to it.
Bye-bye, Google account
Something else I dread is Google suddenly pulling the rug out from under my feet. Their Google account is the fulcrum of their digital lives for many people. Honestly, I know I’d be lost without Gmail, my Calendar data, and Photos backup. But what happens if you’re suddenly left without access to that account? Our Hadlee Simons explored this nightmare scenario in a weekend opinion piece.
It’s a genuine fear
- If you take a moment to sit back and examine your digital life, you’ll discover just how much you rely on Google services.
- Your Gmail inbox might be as pivotal as a bank account, while you may rely on Google Pay for daily payments.
- Google encourages investment in its ecosystem thanks to the plethora of other useful services, from Drive storage to YouTube Music streaming and Google Photos backups.
- But you wouldn’t be able to access any if, for some reason, your Google account was put on ice, compromised, or terminated entirely without warning.
It’s happened before
- This isn’t some unjustified fear, either.
- Google is well known for killing services and has banned users with a heavy hand for seemingly minor violations.
- In 2018, a Redditor found his account suspended after returning devices to Google. The company nevertheless charged their account and shuttered their access when the payment was reversed.
- Other users have been banned for not directly violating the company’s terms of service.
- “Google unfairly banned users for emote spam during YouTuber Markiplier’s stream back in November 2019, despite the host explicitly encouraging it.”
- Beyond bans, what should happen if Google suddenly suspends an old account?
- Hadlee himself was victim to this when his long-running email account with a South African service was suddenly suspended after 15 years.
- “I wasn’t the only one either, as it turns out that a few other people reported that their accounts no longer existed.”
So what can you do?
- It’s not all doom and gloom. There’s no need to panic, but you should seriously consider diversifying your online services.
- This could be as simple as choosing another search engine or using an alternative web browser.
- We have plenty of recommendations for YouTube Music alternatives, Google Photos alternatives, and Google Drive alternatives, too.
- Realistically, it would be best if you also considered more practical measures.
- Don’t use Google as your primary password backup. Instead, grab one of these password managers. Enable two-factor authentication for each account, too.
- Finally, something as simple as setting up a forwarding address from your Gmail inbox to another mail account is another way to backup your mailing history in real-time.
While the odds that your Google account could be shuttered are pretty low, it pays to be prepared.
📦 While moving, our C. Scott Brown realized that saving his tech product boxes was useless. Do you keep yours? (Android Authority).
✨ Xiaomi’s seventh-gen fitness tracker remains one to beat for those on a budget. Get stuck into AA’s full Mi Band 7 review (Android Authority).
💥 The DCEU has become a crisis of Warner Bros.’ own making (The Verge).
🚜 A hacker uncovered an exploit that provides root (heh) access to two John Deere tractors, allowing farmers to repair their own equipment (Wired).
👩⚕️ Health officials in New York detected poliovirus in the city’s sewage system for the first time, joining the likes of London, UK (ArsTechnica).
🍎 Apple could take a page out of Android’s playbook with iPhone ad plans, to the probable annoyance of several Apple stalwarts across the world (Android Authority).
🥵 Keeping cool hasn’t been easy recently, but it could be worse. Just ask UPS workers who have been “trained” to deal with heat exhaustion by drinking water and eating watermelon (Vice).
🐻 In one of the stranger things I read this weekend, a bear cub went to town on psychoactive “mad honey” in Turkey and subsequently fell into a trance. The bear is reportedly in “good health” (Newsweek).
💌 In what has been billed as the “Netflix effect,” more and more Western women are moving to South Korea to find love (CNN).
🚴♀️ Peloton is hiking its Bike Plus and Tread fitness equipment once again. The former will now cost $500 more in the US, with the Tread increasing by $800 (Engadget).
🤖 Safe, scary, sentient? A brief history of LaMDA and the people behind Google’s AI (The Guardian).
🐎 “What’s something that people turn into their whole personality?” (r/askreddit)
Finally, let’s start the week on a good note. We love the trade offer meme, but this reworked version just makes it so much better.
Yep, there’s absolutely no way you can refuse that one.
Of course, if you have a pet of your own, check out our roundup of the best pet apps available. And if you’re like me and don’t 😢, these virtual pet games will help you take care of a digital best friend.
Until next week,
Andy Walker, Editor.