Have you thought about …

… what would happen if your Google account get stolen?  I know I haven’t.  And I don’t want to.  That would like losing a house in the flames, with all valuables inside it turning to ash.  Something of that magnitude, but worse.

I need to do a backup or something.  Do you?

12 thoughts on “Have you thought about …”

  1. I wouldn’t care much, because I don’t use Google for anything important, precisely for this reason. I’m a bit surprised that you’re raising this question now, since you were always saying that you didn’t care about your privacy?

  2. hazard,

    I don’t care about the privacy. If the account will be compromised and somebody is going to read all the emails and documents that I have there – I don’t care.

    If they will use it to send something to someone is a bit worse, but still, I don’t care.

    If they will change the password and I won’t be able to access all that data anymore – now that would be a huge problem for me. :)

  3. For me personally, I’d hope that the person who stole it wouldn’t delete anything. I wouldn’t be so much worried about them reading my emails and such, but if they took over my blogs and started messing with my publications that would be a real disaster.

    Of course, I would contact everybody I know and try to get the theft prominent in many forums and stuff, but first contact Google and get them to lock the account.

    Is there a way to back up your Google Stuff (other then emails?)

  4. David,

    • Gmail can be backed with POP3.
    • Docs can be exported and downloaded. For sure you can do it one-by-one. I don’t know if it’s possible to do them all at once.
    • Calendar can be exported as an iCal or as an RSS feed.
    • Blogger posts can be exported as RSS feed as far as I know (don’t use it at all myself).
    • Picasa – have no idea
    • What else is there?

  5. Note that “breach of privacy” is not restricted to somebody being able to read your data. It is any kind of unauthorized access to your private information, including ability to delete it.

  6. hazard,

    you’re probably right. My use of “breach of privacy” is rather limited. Just to keep it separate from general “intrusion”, “security breach”, and so on.

    Anyway, the whole issue is of keeping the information centralized vs. distributing it over several services. Of course, distributing protects it better. But centralization makes it so much more convenient to use. For me personally, this convenience outweights the horror of loosing it all at once…

    And even with using Google services heavily, I still have critical bits of data in other places. My Flickr account has more than 11,000 pictures. My del.iciou.us bookmarks is another important piece. These two are owned by Yahoo. And then there is my blog with more than 4,000 posts. This one is totally separate from the above…

    In case any of the above will get compromised, it’ll be a heavy loss. But I won’t lose EVERYTHING…

    Now all I need to do is backup all that stuff somehow, somewhere. :)

  7. Re: Is there a way to back up your Google Stuff (other then emails?)

    What about Contacts? As for me, to lose all my contacts at once and the subsequent recovery tasks is the worst possible perspective comparing to losing files and mails.

    What is your backup recipe here?

  8. Lana,

    contacts can be exported easily. Either one-by-one, or by group, or all of them at once. Go to your contacts page in Gmail and look for “export”. In the updated Gmail version it’ll be at the bottom of the page. The old one had it at the top, if I remember correctly.

    Contacts can be exported into CSV format or vCard format. These two are enough import into pretty much any other email program out there.

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