Jeff Kaufman did the hard work of culling through Hacker News accounts to see how likely is it to lose a Google Account. Here’s the punch line (as summarized by ChatGPT):
To reduce the likelihood of security lockout, it is recommended to memorize and write down your password in a safe place, set up backup methods (phone, email) and update them promptly, and use security keys for two-factor authentication. The risk of policy lockouts are generally low as they are rare and only newsworthy when they happen. Avoiding grey areas and not engaging in prohibited activities can further minimize the risk.
I already take this practice with my original Google Account that I opened god knows when. I also have a secondary Google Account under my primary email [email protected] where I manage some of my services as well.
The greatest fear for me is that I’ve invested all my client comms workflow into Google services. I resonate with this Hacker News thread where @blfr notes:
But damn are non-Google ecosystems bad. At work we use m365 and everything is atrocious compared to Google. Loggin sic in is a mess, email search is dreadful, OneNote search unhelpfully defaults to searching the current pagwe sic, integration with Android is weak, Outlook Calendar never seems to do what I want it to and doesn’t seem to handle location in any sane way… I could go on but every time I switch to my private machine and Google-first setup, it’s like a weight has been lifted.
Honestly, Google services work great, especially at the user-friendly cost of free. I’ve tried plenty of other clients and nothing still feels as intuitive as the Gmail interface both desktop and mobile (and occasional use of Mimestream on the Mac).
After Google Workspace shut down its free tier, I was able to transition to Purelymail with minimal headaches while still using Gmail as my primary client. The one issue I keep running into is Purelymail’s aggressive spam filtering which ends up triggering Gmail’s spam filter (even Google’s own security notices end up in my spam folder…strange).
Owning a domain is really the best way to ensure that your email stays yours and that you can move it to any provider you want. I wish there was a similar way to own my phone number. It’s what gives me the heebie-jeebies when it comes to trying to switch phone providers (can’t afford losing a 10+ year old phone number).
I wonder if more regulation is the key when it comes to telecoms and cell phone networks. Of course, our most reliable networks spend $320k per day lobbying congress so I’m not holding my breath.