Friday, July 15, 2016

The Peril of Cyber Security

South Burlington, VT

I started this morning reading in the news about some man, a frequent blogger like me, whose Google account vanished overnight.  He lost his whole blog archive as well as his email archive and gmail archive.  HORRORS!  What a terrible thought.

I've worried about this possibility from the start.  I'm more careful with backups, and I've thought trough (and rejected) a DIY solution with my own domain and software.

I use Google's facilities to export my blog archive every 2-3 months.  That's my blog backup.

I use a third party app to backup my gmail.  I use Verizon to back up my address book.

But reading that article reminded me that it has been a while since running my gmail backup.  So I fired it up.   Well, it didn't work.  It said that it couldn't log in.  Soon after, I got this email from Google.

Hi Dick,
Someone just tried to sign in to your Google Account from an app that doesn't meet modern security standards.

We strongly recommend that you use a secure app, like Gmail, to access your account. All apps made by Google meet these security standards. Using a less secure app, on the other hand, could leave your account vulnerable. Learn more.

Google stopped this sign-in attempt, but you should review your recently used devices:

Now for the scary part.  I found that Google logged me out from all my devices.  That raises the possibility that attempting to back up my data could result in Google thinking that I'm a hacker and deleting my accounts.  An attempt to be careful might backfire and produce the disaster I'm trying to avoid.  Oh my aching head.

Surviving in this modern world with cyber security is not easy.

p.s. After posting this blog, I'm going to search for a new method of backing up my gmail.   Google lets me export my blog and my contacts.  I need something for the mail.

p.p.s.  Google Takeout may be my answer.  I'll let you know.

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