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Why I do not hold all my digital eggs within the Google basket

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

google has constructed numerous companies, all accessible by means of a single account. Actually, with just a few exceptions right here and there (YouTube, Google Search, Google Maps), you may’t use a lot of the firm’s core companies with out creating an account within the first place.

It goes with out saying that it is extremely handy to have all these companies underneath one roof. Nonetheless, I’ve by no means felt 100% snug with one Google account for every little thing. Let me inform you why and what I am doing about it.

The issue with retaining all my eggs in Google’s basket

Gmail on smartphone stock photo 2

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

I am positive it is an irrational concern, however I’ve all the time had a latent concern about the potential for one thing occurring to my Google account. Whether or not it is my account being hacked or Google shutting it down for some motive, I spotted very early on that a large chunk of my digital life could be misplaced if my Google account was now not accessible.

A lot of my digital life could be misplaced if my Google account was now not accessible.

That may imply no extra Gmail inbox, Play Retailer purchases, YouTube profile, Google Chrome searching information, Drive information, YouTube Music, and Google Photographs backups. So principally I might have to start out my digital presence from scratch if I have been to get absolutely concerned within the Mountain View large’s companies.

Google is not any stranger to unwarranted bans or shutdowns

Google Drive logo on smartphone stock photo 1

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

These fears aren’t precisely unfounded, although, as Google’s algorithm-based strategy to enforcement means errors aren’t unusual and other people generally get their accounts banned for no motive.

There are cases the place Google takes a heavy-handed strategy to bans when they look like accountable, similar to: one Redditor found it in 2018. The consumer had despatched gadgets again to Google, however the firm charged his account anyway. Once they determined to dispute the transaction and difficulty a chargeback to their financial institution (after apparently contacting the corporate a number of occasions), Google banned them.

There is no such thing as a scarcity of tales about Google account holders being unfairly or unintentionally banned.

We have even seen some obvious examples of Google accounts in a roundabout way associated to phrases of service violations. For instance, the corporate reportedly forbidden the non-public account of the cellular recreation developer Ali Nadalizadeh and the enterprise account related along with his cellular recreation studio Raya Video games. This errant ban got here months after a former developer at Raya Video games banned his private account within the first place. Nadalizadeh stated his request to enchantment the ban was denied, however Google reinstated the falsely banned accounts after the story went viral on Reddit.

Likewise Google dishonest banned customers for emote spam throughout YouTuber Markiplier’s stream in November 2019, regardless of the host explicitly encouraging it. And these bans utilized to the customers’ complete Google accounts slightly than their YouTube profiles.

Getting banned by Google on one service additionally applies to all of its companies.

That is the draw back of getting all of those Google companies tied to at least one account: getting banned by Google on one service additionally applies to the remainder of its 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 I ought to have extra options on faucet. My authentic e-mail account (by way of a long-running native South African service), which I’ve had for over 15 years, was inexplicably shut down on the finish of the 12 months. I wasn’t the one one both, as a result of it seems {that a} Couple of different folks reported that their accounts now not existed.

One other e-mail service has shut down my 15-year-old account. What if Google did the identical?

Fortunately, I had steadily migrated away from this account through the years, and it wasn’t a worldwide e-mail service to start with. Nonetheless, my predominant thought was, “What if the identical factor occurred to my Google account?” I’ve seen sufficient Google companies die at this level that I do know nothing is unimaginable.

Google has executed it earlier than: These Failed Google Merchandise Might Have Been Superior

So what do I do as an alternative?

backup photos to one disk

Whereas I nonetheless use a variety of Google companies, I’ve embraced options so long as I have been utilizing smartphones. In spite of everything, it is essential to have viable challengers to Google as a result of it creates competitors within the house and forces everybody to get higher. Microsoft’s OneDrive and Outlook are fairly helpful on this regard, whereas I additionally use ecosia extra typically for my net searches on cellular.

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

My main desktop browser is definitely Opera too. Sure, sure, Edge is a greater various lately, however Opera is a holdover from the times after I had a finances laptop computer and Google Chrome could have been an excellent larger RAM hog than it’s at this time. I nonetheless use Chrome on my telephone, however I am additionally spending increasingly more time with the wonderful Kiwi browser due to its assist for Chrome extensions.

Microsoft One Drive, Ecosia Search, Kiwi Browser – there isn’t a scarcity of options to Google’s companies.

It could sound like I ought to simply drop Google altogether, however I am not able to take the deGoogled route simply but. I take pleasure in utilizing the corporate’s companies and am particularly conscious of the privateness compromises. It is also simply extremely handy to have one account for all Google companies.

Do you may have options to Google’s companies?

16 votes

What else are you able to do?

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

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Moreover merely utilizing various companies and thus placing your digital eggs in additional baskets, there are just a few different measures you may take to guard your Google account.

For starters, you may take smart precautions, similar to utilizing two-step verification in your varied accounts. This provides your account an additional layer of safety, requiring attackers to have your telephone 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 could be to keep away from utilizing Google’s built-in password supervisor. Since your whole account info is saved with Google, anybody with entry to your account can technically check in to a lot of your different companies as effectively. You’ll even be banned from any non-Google service when you misplaced entry to your Google account and misplaced your credentials. An exterior supervisor similar to LastPass or 1Password is a smart precaution because it depends totally on a separate account and grasp password.

Our decisions: The very best password supervisor apps on Android

One other tip is to arrange automated e-mail forwarding out of your Gmail inbox to a different e-mail supplier. You can even ensure that to maintain your work and private info separate as a lot as potential. This may be completed through the use of completely different Google accounts for enterprise and private use, after which establishing private and work profiles in Chrome, separating your searching and work/house credentials. This could assist an important deal if an account is compromised.

Separate your private and enterprise accounts, ahead your emails, again up your information. Watch out to not lose an excessive amount of by shedding a Google account.

Additionally think about backing up your information commonly, domestically or to different companies. For instance, you might want to again up your Google Photographs and Google Drive content material to a different cloud storage service or to an exterior laborious drive. You might need to do the identical for YouTube and YouTube Music in case you have content material on these companies. Utilizing Google Takeout will help you get a downloadable model of all of your information.

Both approach, the possibilities of your Google account being shut down or compromised are low, however by no means zero. Personally, it would not harm me to have fallback choices if this ever occurs. It would not harm that my restrictions have the benefit of sometimes discovering extra companies and apps that I’d choose over Google’s.

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