My Gmail account got deleted!

397

This is a horror story with lots of lessons in it for you! Please heed them!!!

UPDATE: I got my gmail account back. Read this post to find out how. But first, continue reading what I learned before getting it back.
THIS IS DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO YOU!

Part 1: My Google (Gmail) account is gone

Tuesday night at 10:06pm my phone couldn’t connect to my Gmail account.

I tried the password…it didn’t work.

I came up to my computer and tried to login…no luck.

After putting my account into the “Forgot Password” system I got:

No gmail account found for that email

WHAT!!!

That’s right: “No account found with that email address. Please try again.”

I tried again. and again. and again. and again. Nothing.

So I searched:
No account found with that email address. Please try again.

Turns out lots of people have had their gmail accounts deleted (or disabled)…with very little success getting them back.

Seriously?
OH MY GOSH!!! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME!!!

I’ve had my account for 7 years. Never deleted a message. I’ve gotten 170,000 messages in that time (I’ll tell you how I know in a minute).

I can’t login to my google docs, google calendar, google voice, youtube.com, or google sites where I had LOTS of documentation for my business. They’ve all been deleted (or disabled…yet to be determined).
I can’t access anything!

What the heck was I thinking trusting so many things to a company who has a ZERO policy:

  • ZERO tolerance
  • ZERO warning
  • ZERO communication
  • ZERO acceptions
  • ZERO phone numbers

Don’t get me wrong…google provides the best services. There’s a reason I’m using all these things. But there has to be a safeguard when you’re using a company who will disable such vital information without warning or repercussion. Be warned.

In the end I found this link:
http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/request.py?ara=1
which is an account recovery link for if your account has been disabled.
Go through that link right now! WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING THEY ASK FOR BEFORE THIS HAPPENS TO YOU!

Fortunately for me, I had read a blog post about this a while back so I had written lots of this info down and put it in a drawer thinking I would probably lose the paper before I needed it.

I have the info. It’s not as complete as I’d like (or as complete as google would like as of right now), but I have a lot of info. Google has already said NO to my first request to get my account back. I didn’t have enough information in my first try. I’ll update this blog as things progress.

Right now all my email is just bouncing back to people who email me. My email address no longer exists.

What I *think* happened?
I think a hacker got into my account. Either

  1. they did what they wanted and then deleted the account
  2. they sent a bunch of spam, google caught it and disabled the account

It’s also possible that I did something google didn’t like (I mean…they wouldn’t tell me if I had…), but I don’t think I did anything different than I have for the past 7 years…
In any case, I’ll never know because even IF I get my account back, Google will never tell me what happened.

Part 2: What I learned from having my gmail account deleted

First: I learned (again) that with google, there is 1 chance.
If something goes wrong, there are no warnings, no communication, and very little shot at a second chance. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong.
That being said, I still believe google puts out the best products and I’m still using them as I reconstruct my life.

Second: MAKE BACKUPS OF EVERYTHING YOU HAVE!!!
I had backups of my gmail and google docs. My life isn’t over.
I backup in 2 ways.
Here’s how you backup your gmail account:

  1. Zoho.com will give you a free email account and they’ll POP your email from gmail. I’ve had them doing this for years. Zoho is amazing.
    As of right now I have over 175,000 emails backed up in zoho.
    zoho backup for gmail
    Zoho has also been invaluable in figuring out all the info google wants to get my account back.
    **UPDATE**: I just read this post which details some ways to backup google services. It also says that using POP3 to grab all your emails is against google’s TOS. Be careful before you do it. I can’t find anything saying it’s against their TOS, but we know what happens with TOS violations…
  2. Backupify.com is an amazing backup service.
    They backup all kinds of online data including gmail, facebook, flickr, blogger, and picasa.
    I also had Backupify backup google docs…so I have a copy of all my docs (that’s a big deal…over 4 years of documents).
    With Backupify, they automatically backup your data and you don’t have to worry about it. It’s an amazing service.
  3. Here are more ways to backup gmail:
  4. There are lots of other ways to backup gmail. Just search google. Those are the two I use.

Third: I will never again use a free email address that I don’t own.
When someone else is in control of your contact location (your email address), when they decide to take it from you, you’re out of luck.
From now on I’ll have my own domain and have Google Apps handle the email.
Now, if something happens to my account, I just change my DNS settings to somewhere else and my email address doesn’t disappear.
Because I have backups of everything, if they disable my account, I can just reconstruct everything.
Yesterday I bought a domain from Godaddy for less than $8 (search “godaddy promo code” and use a coupon when checking out). I have already set it up in Google Apps and have a new email address.

Fourth: Dealing with passwords
I shouldn’t have to say that using an insecure password is just playing with fire. At some point you WILL get burned. That’s just stupid.
Most people use a secure password, they just use the same password for everything.
I’m fine with that…to a point.
Now I know you should always have a different password for the things that matter to you:

  1. email
  2. facebook
  3. bank
  4. paypal
  5. godaddy (or domain registrar)
  6. hosting
  7. …figure out what’s important to you

Use a different secure password for each of the important ones.

Fifth: Prepare for the worst with ALL important accounts
I’m in the process of going through the account recovery steps for things that are important to me (especially the google account recovery process). When I lose another account, I want to be able to get it back fast.

Sixth: Lastpass
I love Lastpass. I love that I have all my passwords in one place, and that I can find out all the services that I have passwords to just by looking through the list. I also love that I can change my important passwords as often as needed and I don’t have to worry about remembering them. Lastpass does it for me, across all my computers and my phone.
Before you hate on me and say I’m stupid for using an online service to store my passwords, look at the security Lastpass uses. It’s pretty darn good.

Conclusion

If you have a gmail.com address as your primary email you’re playing with fire.
I’m not saying don’t use gmail. I’m just saying:
Make backups. Lots. Often.
Make sure you’re prepared to go through the recovery process of your important digital data.

UPDATE

Here’s another horror story of an expensive hacking…and things you should change right now!

Filed under General by  #

Comments on My Gmail account got deleted! Leave a Comment

2/3/2011

Tim @ 6:56 pm #

----

Travis @ 6:57 pm #

----

Joshua @ 6:57 pm #

----

Dr. Dave @ 6:58 pm #

----

Clay @ 6:58 pm #

----

Ruben @ 7:00 pm #

----

Ruben @ 7:00 pm #

----

Nick @ 7:12 pm #

----

rivera76 @ 7:53 pm #

----

Daniel @ 7:56 pm #

----

@coachroland @ 8:03 pm #

----

David @ 8:06 pm #

----

Frank @ 8:06 pm #

----

angiedixon @ 8:08 pm #

----

kml @ 8:09 pm #

----

JohnGG @ 8:11 pm #

----

Philip Davis @ 8:17 pm #

----

Dan @ 8:31 pm #

----

Howard Tiano @ 8:36 pm #

----

Anthony @ 8:36 pm #

----

Marie @ 8:44 pm #

----

sam @ 8:44 pm #

----

Charlie @ 8:45 pm #

----

Jerold Johnson @ 8:50 pm #

----

Tisha @ 8:54 pm #

----

crazylarry @ 8:54 pm #

----

Kim @ 8:58 pm #

----

bat54 @ 9:03 pm #

----

Matt @ 9:03 pm #

----

Cindy @ 9:05 pm #

----

crazylarry @ 9:11 pm #

----

@JohnDeck @ 9:13 pm #

----

John @ 9:17 pm #

----

Tony @ 9:21 pm #

----

Pete @ 9:27 pm #

----

Carousel @ 9:28 pm #

----

Eddie @ 9:29 pm #

----

Crazylarry @ 9:32 pm #

----

anne @ 9:39 pm #

----

----

stargaterich @ 9:57 pm #

----

Rex Turner @ 10:06 pm #

----

----

Nadine Fletcher @ 10:18 pm #

----

Rich Mallinson @ 10:41 pm #

----

Maartin @ 10:50 pm #

----

Jay @ 11:11 pm #

----

Scott Atwood @ 11:43 pm #

----

Lydia @ 11:48 pm #

----

Pitch A. @ 11:50 pm #

----

2/4/2011

Peter_P @ 12:07 am #

----

Connie @ 12:26 am #

----

Cliff @ 12:28 am #

----

Kelowna SEO @ 12:50 am #

----

dan @ 2:27 am #

----

Paul @ 2:58 am #

----

Darren @ 3:00 am #

----

RichardWing @ 3:18 am #

----

mohammad @ 3:53 am #

----

joseph Bison @ 4:25 am #

----

Joseph Bison @ 4:32 am #

----

Marck V. @ 6:36 am #

----

Paula @ 6:57 am #

----

Florian @ 7:47 am #

----

valerie @ 8:02 am #

----

----

Tim @ 8:19 am #

----

Paula @ 8:26 am #

----

Ken @ 9:49 am #

----

Stevie @ 9:56 am #

----

Stevie @ 10:03 am #

----

Mike @ 11:35 am #

----

Margie Jordan @ 11:45 am #

----

Emily @ 12:31 pm #

----

John @ 12:36 pm #

----

mack @ 1:30 pm #

----

----

Buck @ 5:20 pm #

----

Peter @ 7:44 pm #

----

Louie @ 8:32 pm #

----

Mathew @ 11:45 pm #

----

2/5/2011

Jeff Mills @ 1:43 am #

----

Kevin @ 1:54 am #

----

Furqan Durvesh @ 5:29 am #

----

Trishna @ 7:40 am #

----

Caroline J @ 12:00 pm #

----

Tom Harvey @ 3:38 pm #

----

Martha @ 8:01 pm #

----

2/6/2011

Simon @ 11:10 pm #

----

2/7/2011

Thomas @ 4:16 pm #

----

Liza @ 10:15 pm #

----

2/8/2011

Ricky @ 1:25 pm #

----

2/9/2011

Freddy @ 10:16 pm #

----

erbos @ 10:30 pm #

----

2/10/2011

Simon Delancey @ 8:26 am #

----

Al U. @ 9:18 am #

----

2/12/2011

Isobel @ 9:29 am #

----

2/15/2011

Amir @ 8:21 pm #

----

2/16/2011

marturii botez @ 10:32 am #

----

2/20/2011

John Reed @ 6:12 pm #

----

3/10/2011

Wilfred Wilson @ 9:27 am #

----

3/14/2011

Caryn @ 9:46 am #

----

5/22/2011

alex @ 12:34 pm #

----

7/19/2011

Kathy @ 5:36 am #

----

7/24/2011

Amanda @ 2:42 pm #

----

7/26/2011

phyllis dammann @ 4:24 pm #

----

7/28/2011

Aashi @ 12:01 am #

----

7/29/2011

Muneeb @ 2:01 pm #

----

Muneeb @ 2:05 pm #

----

7/30/2011

JoelinPDX @ 10:57 am #

----

8/10/2011

Haider @ 10:22 am #

----

9/17/2011

ronel @ 2:02 pm #

----

9/30/2011

Assija @ 2:25 am #

----

10/5/2011

mad woman @ 4:41 pm #

----

11/5/2011

greg cryns @ 5:00 am #

----

11/8/2011

Grace @ 2:10 pm #

----

11/27/2011

Tabitha Renault @ 4:03 pm #

----

11/30/2011

@barkway @ 12:24 pm #

----

12/14/2011

Kenn @ 9:18 am #

----

12/16/2011

steve_dude @ 9:33 pm #

----

12/20/2011

Mimi @ 8:55 am #

----

12/22/2011

Art @ 7:19 am #

----

1/3/2012

africasiaeuro @ 6:25 am #

----

1/4/2012

Ray @ 4:02 pm #

----

1/5/2012

africasiaeuro @ 3:41 am #

----

1/13/2012

Jucheunsume @ 9:52 am #

----

Attenryurinny @ 10:21 am #

----

FafMenunloala @ 10:26 am #

----

BakOppothboth @ 10:58 am #

----

1/15/2012

Stinnyplolo @ 4:01 am #

----

Gribiordivy @ 4:02 am #

----

Iderrepdrox @ 11:15 am #

----

reaklynurry @ 1:23 pm #

----

----

Alegro @ 3:28 pm #

----

waydayMak @ 5:29 pm #

----

bubble shooter @ 8:47 pm #

----

1/16/2012

Ideorremn @ 12:05 am #

----

Pneumeorepe @ 10:35 am #

----

incevorinvary @ 10:47 am #

----

assimbbuichob @ 10:54 am #

----

crymnatty @ 10:55 am #

----

Ideorremn @ 12:23 pm #

----

Gomacarley @ 8:43 pm #

----

1/17/2012

Geonechemmect @ 2:58 am #

----

HoxBounkzok @ 7:18 am #

----

Allegro @ 8:10 am #

----

TreteCleave @ 6:06 pm #

----

1/18/2012

KahFuspseusia @ 7:06 am #

----

enagreeby @ 2:52 pm #

----

pmalldip @ 10:20 pm #

----

1/19/2012

Oblirectere @ 7:32 am #

----

UplinsGinup @ 7:52 am #

----

geomscleveland @ 8:43 pm #

----

Musethalia @ 9:45 pm #

----

1/20/2012

wowgolduxt @ 4:03 am #

----

1/21/2012

diesroeugard @ 12:04 am #

----

RRgxre @ 12:10 am #

----

----

----

----

asphalt 6 apk @ 4:32 pm #

----

Emil Everleth @ 8:57 pm #

----

1/22/2012

diksraeygard @ 1:21 am #

----

----

Tena Grassman @ 7:35 pm #

----

----

sdefskindszupp @ 8:21 pm #

----

1/23/2012

Krystin Gourd @ 3:08 pm #

----

Immultplart @ 11:19 pm #

----

1/24/2012

Sqaasasa @ 3:36 am #

----

----

suecskiqddzupq @ 3:47 pm #

----

1/25/2012

----

diqsriedgard @ 9:05 pm #

----

1/26/2012

----

pguyjhp @ 2:49 pm #

----

Devora Ziesman @ 5:47 pm #

----

1/27/2012

----

sbehskirdjzypz @ 8:32 pm #

----

xgallodp @ 9:01 pm #

----

1/28/2012

----

xsalldip @ 10:57 am #

----

----

xguyoekp @ 10:53 pm #

----

----

1/29/2012

Rhichnet @ 4:12 am #

----

Lakita Maheux @ 8:47 am #

----

Dirk Lukesh @ 10:36 am #

----

----

----

icovadelois @ 7:13 pm #

----

axelskimdhzrpv @ 9:39 pm #

----

dizsroebgard @ 11:01 pm #

----

cumberbun @ 11:12 pm #

----

jugmoonmvjuwp @ 11:21 pm #

----

android market @ 11:37 pm #

----

----

1/30/2012

sktemereclbe @ 12:01 am #

----

bheuskijdtzlpo @ 3:13 am #

----

ssteperaclue @ 6:09 am #

----

jupmoonmwjump @ 9:35 am #

----

White Strips @ 12:18 pm #

----

----

Lizabeth Wurgler @ 11:12 pm #

----

1/31/2012

ninsneacroela @ 2:38 am #

----

sltereryclse @ 3:28 am #

----

----

Mantascesse @ 4:17 am #

----

HepMeldPlet @ 2:05 pm #

----

Smonemugimive @ 8:32 pm #

----

choildTythill @ 9:39 pm #

----

Elurlesee @ 11:58 pm #

----

2/1/2012

WilaClara @ 5:29 am #

----

Peniewteemi @ 8:39 am #

----

uniocrilerite @ 10:43 am #

----

kanqwxoqtp @ 3:44 pm #

----

ngfnzwnojm @ 3:45 pm #

----

ishucvkzjr @ 3:52 pm #

----

duckeelfbw @ 3:58 pm #

----

brwytrvvoy @ 4:04 pm #

----

tuhalgeizg @ 4:04 pm #

----

Advictded @ 6:34 pm #

----

floaroinirm @ 8:44 pm #

----

Rashswipssafe @ 10:13 pm #

----

expitiels @ 11:25 pm #

----

2/2/2012

Enernesom @ 12:40 am #

----

rearryWrove @ 1:52 am #

----

rounkInanna @ 11:20 am #

----

wuwzodmhhd @ 12:11 pm #

----

gtwxktsbit @ 3:02 pm #

----

aqyqkqstmz @ 3:31 pm #

----

mvydztwjun @ 6:01 pm #

----

ftywewpleu @ 7:58 pm #

----

nhpwdvnnwm @ 8:05 pm #

----

----

a160711 @ 10:58 pm #

----

sencehage @ 11:34 pm #

----

2/3/2012

----

wdsxdtdwkd @ 12:04 am #

----

mvkhbgqwyn @ 12:13 am #

----

qcfkbtirmj @ 1:14 am #

----

uiarcvbhwf @ 1:41 am #

----

nzmskbnzvm @ 1:48 am #

----

----

dvyzhqddkw @ 2:31 am #

----

Queuemfelry @ 2:45 am #

----

----

jgglkcuyzq @ 3:39 am #

----

akzklfwvqz @ 3:39 am #

----

----

rfvisftyfi @ 7:00 am #

----

wbfezwfyad @ 7:02 am #

----

NRL Betting @ 8:51 am #

----

yfojyizkrb @ 9:16 am #

----

ypagagsmwb @ 9:28 am #

----

swim spa @ 9:30 am #

----

vqxlcfgtve @ 9:34 am #

----

xkprmyoqcc @ 9:38 am #

----

hjduqiorws @ 9:38 am #

----

Nike Free Run @ 10:21 am #

----

----

----

güncel blog @ 11:52 am #

----

san diego sem @ 11:57 am #

----

----

Dog Snuggie @ 1:04 pm #

----

NatashaPaw @ 3:15 pm #

----

----

free videos @ 4:58 pm #

----

----

fitness health @ 6:37 pm #

----

mpc 2051 @ 6:56 pm #

----

studentenjob @ 7:13 pm #

----

fire analysis @ 7:32 pm #

----

2/4/2012

ofkkdhbojl @ 12:14 am #

----

Manuel Cussen @ 2:18 am #

----

tzgcgzgrlg @ 6:45 am #

----

lvffvasdro @ 6:46 am #

----

mosjlesfun @ 8:56 am #

----

snztdnrtph @ 9:19 am #

----

sxkepkzfwh @ 9:46 am #

----

swxxonicrh @ 9:49 am #

----

ocecahfyfl @ 10:10 am #

----

nefgjdbwum @ 10:37 am #

----

ybljchpdtb @ 10:46 am #

----

ytnmqwxkyb @ 11:59 am #

----

gxutvzytnt @ 12:01 pm #

----

hmyrmxhrgs @ 12:04 pm #

----

jwavbpgfrq @ 12:39 pm #

----

----

----

jomndizrsq @ 1:33 pm #

----

dsbkzualkw @ 1:41 pm #

----

djcvudxwgw @ 1:54 pm #

----

fieuegbxyu @ 3:34 pm #

----

Wen Eun @ 3:58 pm #

----

tyugpyothg @ 4:04 pm #

----

towarzyskie @ 4:56 pm #

----

----

zavosiecua @ 5:41 pm #

----

csiuyhxunx @ 5:52 pm #

----

ptxrijjkrk @ 6:34 pm #

----

Sweneenarty @ 6:45 pm #

----

ydugttgsdb @ 8:32 pm #

----

Chanda @ 9:30 pm #

----

2/5/2012

Oxirubdiquiff @ 2:46 am #

----

payday loans @ 2:47 am #

----

pywysvbquk @ 4:01 am #

----

xhwzhlqcnc @ 6:07 am #

----

ejatyfiynv @ 6:09 am #

----

tangkasnet @ 6:50 am #

----

mpdfyllvin @ 7:17 am #

----

ckubajjvkx @ 7:17 am #

----

emahmfekcv @ 7:22 am #

----

a3433460 @ 7:52 am #

----

Alonso Nessen @ 8:31 am #

----

----

vczfmovzwe @ 10:50 am #

----

rjzctwubci @ 10:51 am #

----

----

sexfotka @ 1:43 pm #

----

----

----

uuurthztcf @ 2:38 pm #

----

----

----

jodimntdrq @ 5:42 pm #

----

mkvcaokxin @ 5:51 pm #

----

nosbcbmuum @ 5:54 pm #

----

----

tgtnntebeg @ 6:03 pm #

----

aynnnlrtrz @ 6:17 pm #

----

hoxskuzrhs @ 6:21 pm #

----

Wasserbett @ 6:24 pm #

----

Triglycerides @ 6:28 pm #

----

----

Danilo Melder @ 7:48 pm #

----

Alysha Storlie @ 7:51 pm #

----

----

zylrbxnsda @ 8:58 pm #

----

cxxcmfnzmx @ 9:53 pm #

----

sex in tilburg @ 10:06 pm #

----

reclaimed bricks @ 11:35 pm #

----

Pension Advice @ 11:39 pm #

----

2/6/2012

balustrady @ 1:00 am #

----

----

----

avjhnqrvqz @ 2:43 am #

----

fnsxhtmiru @ 5:25 am #

----

Mack Furrh @ 6:08 am #

----

----

myikbcmqmn @ 6:18 am #

----

----

dyson dc15 @ 7:47 am #

----

sex speeltjes @ 8:57 am #

----

Marco Frazee @ 9:31 am #

----

E-Rauchen @ 9:44 am #

----

egnmxzqxev @ 9:47 am #

----

----

fgxocdhqqu @ 11:22 am #

----

Lorette Salmon @ 11:33 am #

----

----

Maybell Sotak @ 12:00 pm #

----

dating site @ 12:04 pm #

----

Abraham Staves @ 12:06 pm #

----

2/21/2012

reidmoid @ 10:28 am #

----

3/15/2012

Dr J @ 12:22 pm #

----

4/10/2012

ReidtheSherpa @ 3:43 pm #

----

4/17/2012

dean @ 9:53 pm #

----

9/3/2012

Michael @ 2:00 pm #

----

9/23/2012

Wen @ 4:40 pm #

----

10/2/2012

cam @ 7:18 am #

----

10/30/2012

Neely @ 8:15 am #

----

1/19/2013

Dave @ 4:24 pm #

----

2/23/2013

Linda Credit @ 7:08 pm #

----

9/11/2013

Sam @ 8:15 am #

----

3/12/2014

Maggie g @ 2:00 am #

----

Leave a Comment

Fields marked by an asterisk (*) are required.


two + 3 =

Register Login

Switch to our mobile site