How to Successfully Recover a Disabled Gmail Account

A few days ago I posted about my disabled gmail account.

After a long, painful process, I was able to successfully recover the account.

Before you read this blog post, let me tell you that one of the things I discovered was

Google’s account recovery process is 100% automated! No humans involved at ANY level.

More on that below.

In getting my account back, I learned a LOT.

Here are the things I learned about my account

  1. My account was disabled/deleted because a hacker got into it. When I was finally able to recover it, during the “change your password process,” I found this: The account was hacked and the hacker changed the account recovery email address So I at least know the account was hacked. The first thing the hacker did was change my password and the account recovery email addresses, so it would be really hard for me to get my account back.
  2. The hacker also deleted my Youtube account and added 2 more of his own to my account: Jerk. I did manage to get my youtube account restored, but he deleted all the videos out of it and I can’t recover those. Good thing I make TONS of backups of things.
  3. The hacker deleted all emails in my inbox (I had probably 15 emails from 10 people in my inbox, 5 of which were to remind me to do something). If you were expecting a reply from me recently…sorry…your email got deleted. Keep your inbox clean!
  4. I still don’t know how he got into my account. I had a very strong password. I can only think of 3 scenarios:
    1. a brute force password attack (unlikely)
    2. I used the same password somewhere else and he hacked into some other database that had that password (most likely). My own stupidity.
    3. I logged into my gmail account over an unencrypted connection on a public wifi network and he got my username/password (unlikely)

What I learned about Google’s account recovery system, and what it means to you!

I learned a couple awesome things about recovering a deleted google account during this process…a couple things Google doesn’t want you to know (or…things they don’t tell you).

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