Why I am not conserving all my digital eggs within the Google basket

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the Google Pixel 5a home screen showing a close up of the Google search bar

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Google has created a ton of companies, all accessible by one account. In truth, with just a few exceptions right here and there (YouTube, Google Search, Google Maps), you possibly can’t truly use a lot of the firm’s main companies with out creating an account within the first place.

It goes with out saying that it is vitally handy to have all these companies below one roof. Nevertheless, I’ve by no means felt 100% comfy with one Google account for every little thing. Let me inform you why and what I do about it.

The issue of conserving all my eggs within the Google basket

Gmail on smartphone stock photo 2

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

I am certain it is an irrational worry, however I’ve all the time had this latent concern that one thing may occur to my Google account. Whether or not it was as a result of my account was hacked or Google shut it down for no matter motive, I noticed very early on that a large a part of my digital life can be gone if my Google account was not accessible.

A big a part of my digital life can be misplaced if my Google account was not accessible.

That might imply no extra Gmail inbox, Play Retailer purchases, YouTube profile, Google Chrome looking knowledge, Drive recordsdata, YouTube music, and Google Pictures backups. So successfully I must begin my digital presence from scratch if I had been absolutely concerned within the companies of the Mountain View big.

Google isn’t any stranger to unjustified bans or closures

Google Drive logo on smartphone stock photo 1

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Nevertheless, these fears aren’t precisely unfounded, as Google’s algorithm-driven method to the app means bugs aren’t unusual, and generally folks get account-locked for no motive.

There are circumstances the place Google takes a heavy-handed method to bans when they seem like at fault, as one Reddit consumer found in 2018. The consumer had returned the gadgets to Google, however the firm charged their account anyway. After they determined to dispute the transaction and situation a chargeback with their financial institution (after apparently contacting the corporate a number of instances), Google slapped them with a ban.

There isn’t any scarcity of tales about Google account holders being unfairly or mistakenly banned.

We have even seen some egregious examples of Google banning accounts that are not immediately related to phrases of service violations. For instance, the corporate allegedly banned cellular recreation developer Ali Nadalizadeh’s private account, in addition to the enterprise account related along with his cellular recreation studio Raya Video games. This errant ban got here months after a former Raya Video games developer had his private account banned within the first place. Nadalizadeh mentioned his request to enchantment the ban was denied, however Google incorrectly reinstated the banned accounts after the story went viral on Reddit.

Equally, Google unfairly banned customers for emoticon spamming throughout YouTuber Markiplier’s broadcast in November 2019, regardless of the host explicitly encouraging it. And these bans utilized to all customers’ Google accounts as a substitute of their YouTube profiles.

Being banned by Google in a single service additionally applies to all of their companies.

That is the draw back of getting all these Google companies tied to a single account: getting banned by Google on one service additionally applies to the remainder of their companies.

Hacking can be one other ever-present concern, given the cat-and-mouse nature of digital safety.

One other occasion late final 12 months additionally bolstered my feeling that there needs to be extra options obtainable. My unique e mail account (by a long-running native South African service), which I’ve had for over 15 years, was inexplicably closed on the finish of the 12 months. I wasn’t the one one both, because it seems a few other people reported that their accounts not existed.

One other e mail service closed my 15 12 months previous account. What if Google did the identical?

Fortunately, I had been steadily migrating from this account over time, and it wasn’t a world e mail service to start with. Nevertheless, my predominant thought was: “What if the identical factor occurred to me with my Google account?”. I’ve seen sufficient Google companies die at this level that I do know nothing is unimaginable.

Google has completed it earlier than: These Failed Google Merchandise May Have Been Nice

So what do I do as a substitute?

onedrive photo backup

Whereas I nonetheless use a number of Google companies, I’ve embraced options ever since I have been utilizing smartphones. In any case, having viable rivals to Google is essential, because it creates competitors within the house and forces everybody to enhance. Microsoft’s OneDrive and Outlook are fairly useful on this regard, whereas I’ve additionally been utilizing Ecosia extra often for my cellular internet search wants.

Discover your match: Google One vs. Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, and Apple iCloud

My essential desktop browser can be Opera. Sure, sure, Edge is a greater different nowadays, however Opera is a holdover from the times while you had a funds laptop computer and Google Chrome was arguably a good greater client of RAM than it’s now. I nonetheless use Chrome on my telephone, however I additionally spend increasingly time with the wonderful Kiwi browser due to its Chrome extension assist.

Microsoft One Drive, Ecosia search, Kiwi browser: There isn’t any scarcity of options to Google companies.

It would appear to be I ought to ditch Google altogether, however I am not fairly able to go the Googled route simply but. I’m completely happy to make use of the corporate’s companies and I’m extra conscious of the benefits and downsides when it comes to privateness. It is also extremely handy to have one account for all Google companies.

Do you could have options to Google companies?

40 votes

What else are you able to do?

a close up of the google pixel 5a google logo g logo

Jimmy Westenberg/Android Authority

Except for merely utilizing different companies and thus placing your digital eggs in additional baskets, there are just a few different steps you possibly can take to maintain your Google account safe.

For starters, you possibly can take affordable precautions like utilizing two-factor authentication on your varied accounts. This provides your account an additional layer of safety, requiring criminals to have your telephone as a way to entry your Google account.

In your safety, arrange two-factor authentication and keep away from utilizing Google’s built-in password supervisor.

The subsequent step can be to keep away from utilizing Google’s built-in password supervisor. Since your entire account credentials are saved with Google, anybody with entry to your account may additionally technically check in to a lot of your different companies. You’d even be locked out of all non-Google companies in case you misplaced entry to your Google account and could not bear in mind your credentials. A 3rd-party supervisor like LastPass or 1Password is a clever precaution as a result of it depends on a separate account and grasp password fully.

Our picks: Greatest Password Supervisor Apps on Android

One other tip is to arrange computerized e mail forwarding out of your Gmail inbox to a different e mail supplier. You may also just remember to have separated your work and private knowledge as a lot as doable. This may be achieved through the use of totally different Google accounts for work and private use, after which organising private and work profiles in Chrome in order that your looking knowledge and credentials for work and residential are separated from one another. Sure. This needs to be of nice assist if an account is compromised.

Separate your private and work accounts, ahead your emails, again up your knowledge. Ensure you do not lose an excessive amount of by dropping a Google account.

You must also take into account repeatedly backing up your knowledge, both regionally or to different companies. For instance, you must again up your Google Pictures and Google Drive content material to a different cloud storage service or an exterior onerous drive. Chances are you’ll need to do the identical for YouTube and YouTube Music you probably have content material on these companies. Utilizing Google Takeout may help you get a downloadable model of all of your knowledge.

Both means, the possibilities of your Google account being closed or compromised are low, however by no means zero. Personally, it would not harm to have alternate choices if this ever occurs. It would not harm that my mitigation measures have the benefit of permitting me to sometimes uncover extra companies and functions that I would like to these of Google.

Proceed: My worst tech choice is a G Suite account for private use

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Why I’m not keeping all my digital eggs in the Google basket