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I Lost Nine Years of Photos by Locking Myself Out of My Google Account

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Ethelyn Bryehttp://cyanosaur.com
Ethelyn Brye is an award-winning author and blogger. Growing up in Switzerland and influenced by renowned Swiss design and a lot of fresh mountain air, she attended and completed design studies in Geneva. Post graduation she moved to Washington State to work for a design firm, but her love of writing brought her to Cyanosaur. She's highly interested in strategy rpgs, mountain climbing, board games with friends and skiing. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her lovely cat Armstrong.

Tech 911Tech 911Do you have a tech question keeping you up at night? We’d love to answer it! Email david.murphy@lifehacker.com with “Tech 911” in the subject line.I normally use this weekly column to answer people’s technology-themed questions. This week, I’m taking a slight departure, because I think sharing a reader’s story is important—even though there’s not really much I, nor Google, can do in the case of her locked Google account. There’s a lot we can learn from her example, and a few items you should check to make sure this frustrating issue never happens to you.Lifehacker reader Cathryn writes:I stupidly forgot my Google account password back in November 2019, I had only just changed it. I asked them to email to text me a verification code, like I’d done so many times before, however I stupidly added the 2 step verification on my account. The problem was I inputted an incorrect recovery email address, I missed 2 digits off my email. Therefore the 2 step verification wouldn’t work. Google locked my account, I also broke my mobile phone screen days later that I ended up buying a new handset but the same mobile phone number.[…] I only get asked 1 security question “what was your first phone number” I picked that question myself in the security settings a long time ago. Then I get asked to give them an email they can contact me on, then a few days later I receive an email stating they don’t have enough evidence so unfortunately they can’t open my account.I never get asked any questions such as when was your account created. I’ve tried recovery options from my laptop, kindle ect that used the same gmail account plus it’s all from my home IP address.I get it’s my fault for initially forgetting my password, but google security settings are flawed as when I put a recovery email they should send an automatic email confirmation to make sure it’s correct due to human error. I’ve lost lots of important document and 9 years of Google photos with some pictures of loved ones that I’ll never get back.I present this reader story as a cautionary tale. First, whenever you’re dealing with two-factor authentication or any kind of account-recovery options—whether you’re inputting your email or phone number to set it up, or you’re copying down precious backup codes—it’s critical that you triple-check this information. That’s not because there’s no way to change it; you can obviously change details like your email address or phone number if you have access to your account. However, you’re less likely to this because most people assume that everything is on the up and up once they’ve set up their accounts. And if it isn’t, and you left a typo in a critical account recovery option, you’re going to have a mess of a time when you try to restore access.Google makes this entire situation particularly frustrating because they, a giant search company that practically prints money, have no desire to
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Hands-on with the Hyper GaN Stackable USB-C charger [Video]

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