Google, Identity and Security
Why I stopped using Gmail — and why you should too
Everyone uses Gmail, right? I use it, you use it, depending on whether you created a Facebook profile for your grandmother, you probably created a Gmail address for her as well.
And all of that is nice and sounds good — but the issue is that Gmail stopped being just a contact channel ages ago. It’s tightly bound to your identity, and nowadays not only on the internet.
Just think about all the apps, websites, etc. that you use, and which for you use your Gmail address. Your Youtube account, Google Play, Facebook, Tiktok, and even Medium probably.
Everything is linked to your Gmail address, and you either use it as a Single-Sign-On option or at least as your 2FA method.
Gmail got to be a part of our identity, a long time ago. Without exaggerating, we wouldn’t be able to function if someone took it away from us at this moment.
Losing access to your Gmail address now isn’t that easy on you. You don’t actually lose your email, but access to all the applications that your day-to-day life depends on.
There are many ways how all of this can go sideways, especially if you think about how Google is getting more and more protective and defensive because of security risks. More security — more chances you get locked out. But it’s a paradox, as you actually need more security to keep other people out of your Gmail — read identity.
And these security risks are a huge problem even on their own — Hackers don’t target your profile on the super new cool app, or your bank account — but they get it all by just getting your email.
I’m not suggesting you should use Outlook or Yahoo. I’m suggesting that we as the whole internet community, and all of us as users and businesses as well — rethink how we identify on the web, and how much we actually depend on a single communication channel; email.
A whole other problem is — how much everything depends on a single communication channel.
If you think you’re safe, just remember how many security issues Gmail alone asks you, and how many checks it has in a place, such as IP checks, your birthday, etc. All of these yield potential for you to get locked out, literally, of your identity.
Think about how and what tools we use and at what scale.
Make sure you use other means that identify you, not only your email channel.
If you end up here, I want to say, thank you for reading this article! 🎉
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