A few days ago I got a notice from Google that one of my account passwords was compromised and the account was suspended. That’s annoying, yes, but should be pretty straightforward to correct. At least that’s what I thought when I started trying to recover my account. Now, of course, I know better.
The account I lost access was old. Very old. So old, in fact, that it dated back to the days when you had to be invited to sign up for a gmail account. It was my main email address until I unified everything under Google Apps a few years ago. Although now it’s mostly relegated to being a spam catcher, there are plenty of ancient messages archived there that I didn’t want to lose.
For what it’s worth, the account recover process Google has put in place is only slightly less cumbersome that assisting Dr. Jones in recovering the Holy Grail. Just now I appear to be stuck at the part where Google sends my temporary password to a secondary email account so I can register a new password and get back to business as usual. The catch here, because you know there has to be a catch, is that they have successfully sent this temporary password to a Hotmail account that I opened back at the dawn of the internet and in all likelihood no longer exists.
What I’m left with at this point is unlimited access to the Google “self help” forums and no way to talk to a real person in order to prove that I’m me. I’m not willing to consider all lost just yet, but the prognosis is looking awfully grim. Not optimal in any way, but it finally did encourage me to break down and back up everything Google is storing on my current accounts. Don’t tell me I can’t make the most of a day off.