A downside to everything being kept by google?


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  1. Moogle

    Moogle Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    A friend of mine had his gmail account compromised by those friendly Nigerians who claimed he'd been mugged needed money etc etc... Fortunately no one fell for it.

    HOWEVER - the friendly Nigerians, having used his gmail to get into his facebook changed his password to both gmail and facebook, then deleted ALL his contacts, and all his email - sent and received etc. One assumes that this is to ensure he couldn't send out an 'urk! ignore ignore' email.

    Annnyway - my life is excessively dependent on my emails and online contacts... he was extremely peeved - I'd have been devastated. And it got me thinking...

    If it happened to me, with my phone synced - would all my phone contacts suddenly disappear - or once I'd synced once with gmail, should I stop it syncing unless I do it manually?

    Is there a way to back up gmail emails offline?
     

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  2. Mark One

    Mark One Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, this, together with the fact that you are expected to have a permanent connection to access features / manage your data, is the Achilles heal of the cloud / device model imho - I don't have the answers I'm afraid but would like to know too.

    In the way back when, my desktop was the central hub and synced by cable to my mobile devices. I always knew that the master copy lived with me and could backup whenever / however I saw fit.

    Now, due to a combination of HTC Sync being an unstable POC and the bizarre way that Android handles contacts / profiles (one data set for desktop sync, another for Google sync etc etc and never the twain shall meet) syncing with Outlook on the desktop is not an option and I have had to give up ownership of my primary data to Google and the cloud.

    My workaround has been to move to Thunderbird / Lightning which syncs with my Google account to provide me with a desktop data set I can backup.

    All sound like to much trouble? I agree, this process could / should be made far simpler but it's worth it if you are hacked as above or due to (can you imagine) a failure on Google's end that wipes your online data.

    Again making the best of a pretty poor job I have the following precautions in place:

    My Desire basically has it's own gmail account - all my other gmail/pop accounts feed into this so that I can use the phone's features without risking loosing all my messages in the event of a failure.

    All my email / gmail accounts have different passwords - so if one is compromised the others are not all open as well. This is simple best practice and is even more important when it comes to banking / paypal accounts etc - the first thing they'll hit when they get your email (happened to me with paypal once when my gmail was hacked).

    I use decent passwords - not dictionary words etc but alpha numeric multi case strings based on a memorable phrase for example - that are harder to hack in the first place.

    Fact is - after 15+ years of using PDA's / smartphones and all the major mobile platforms it seems to me that my data has never been less secure than it is right now.
     
  3. nx1977

    nx1977 Well-Known Member

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    Always use a complex password with caps, and numbers.

    He must have fell for something for them to have gained access so they could get in. Phishing email is and using the same password for both is my guess.
     
  4. Moogle

    Moogle Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I'm guessing he actually was on a computer with a keylogger at some point, as he has a decent password (random, alphanumeric etc) and doesn't use the same one for more than one thing.

    However - that was merely the back story for my point - what happens if something goes wrong the google side of things...?
     
  5. lekky

    lekky Lover VIP Member

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    Maybe a backup should be used.

    The google cloud thing isn't really a backup, its simply a means to access one set of data on whichever device you are currently using. Thats why I am such a fan, no one place having a more up to date set of my data.

    So yeah, do what I do and make a backup, my tool of choice is wavesecure.

    I'm not in agreement with that either. You are not expected to have permanent access to a data connection to access ot manage your data at all, what makes you think you do?
     
  6. Mark One

    Mark One Well-Known Member

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    I say this because for me, and others, HTC Sync doesn't do what it says on the tin. In my case I am simply unable to get a stable connection to Win7 32 - spent days troubleshooting without joy.

    When I am able to connect, however briefly, nothing syncs with outlook as all my data is in the Google profile on the phone.

    I don't want to create and manage 2 separate data sets - one that syncs with Google and one that syncs with Outlook - I want 1 data set in sync with both. A pretty simple and common requirement imho.

    In a nutshell I have no way of syncing my Desire with my desktop (laptop) over a cable. So the only way to manage the contact/calendar data is to sync them both with Google. Which requires a connection.

    If I am in a blackspot or a country where I have no internet connection I therefore cannot do something as simple as add a load of new contacts picked up at a conference to my laptop by syncing with my Desire.

    Regarding features - Navigation falls on its face without a permanent connection as there is no local map data. For example, last week I headed up to Dartmoor using Google Nav. Had a connection at my starting point so it plotted the route and cached the maps as expected. When it came to the return journey however I was in a blackspot and there was no way to calculate a route home as even the cached maps from the outward leg were not available to the app.

    Voice to text is another - it's a really useful way of entering short notes but it will not work without a connection as all the processing takes place in the cloud.
     
  7. Mark One

    Mark One Well-Known Member

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    BTW Leccy - what sort of hit does your battery life take with Wavesecure? Thinking about using it but can't afford to loose an hour of power for it.
     
  8. nx1977

    nx1977 Well-Known Member

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    Wavesecure uses next to no power until security triggered by loss etc
     
  9. Moogle

    Moogle Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I can use the phone as a harddrive, but HTC wont sync (win 7, 64bit) no matter what I do...

    I've exported my contacts from gmail to excel, so even if it's not massively up to date, that wouldn't bother me too much if they disappeared. So that does me as much good as wavesecure... ish.

    Ho hum.
    I still wonder how I can store my gmail emails offline somewhere - but that's more about my general 'arrrgh I'm trusting everything to google and my security holding' than a phone related gripe.
     
  10. diggedy

    diggedy Active Member

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    contacts are easy, just export them to a file from the google mail site and import them to outlook or similar on your desktop. As for Gmail, im yet to start using it as my primary mail, I still use yahoo which I use a desktop client to manage them meaning I can make regular backups. Im sure ive read that you can use Gmail with some desktop clients such as zimbra or outlook
     
  11. partridge

    partridge Well-Known Member

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    I think the OP means, what if Google go under? Well, realistically if they were ever in danger I reckon they'd get bought up by someone else and all the services they offer would continue or eventually shift to the new owners solutions.

    Google makes it's money from advertisers and the only threat to that income source is a major shift by us to another search engine like Bing. Personally I think that Google is now so entrenched in our language and everyday use that Google, for the forseeable future, is secure - of course one of the ways they help keep themselves going is to offer great free software to consumers which keeps us using Google, thus ensuring businesses keep advertising with them; it's a simple but brilliant business model :)

    I've only recently signed up to Google and that does at least give me the option to limit how I use my gmail account; hopefully it wont find it's way onto spam lists!
     
  12. Moogle

    Moogle Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Not really - I was meaning more about if they were hacked, or if an individual was, and data was deleted...

    However - google's more likely to become evil than go under...

    oooh - but what if google go evil?!

    Anyway - back to my original wittering - will try and see if can use outlook to store emails... just want a way to get a monthly backup online or something... so I don't lose years of emails.
     
  13. nacatomi

    nacatomi Well-Known Member

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    I have multiple backups of my mail... Its sky email that is hosted by google so the same thing. I have set up outlook on 2 different computers so that I access them by IMAP but these emails are also stored in outlooks offlline data files (.pst) that is available offline. I believe you can also do the same thing in thunderbird. Something you could try.:)
     
  14. aldredd

    aldredd Well-Known Member

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    my google data stream looks like this

    Handset <--> Google --> Outlook

    So, I have a 2-way stream between handset & google, syncing email, contacts etc.
    But, I also have google sync'd with Outlook. For this, I have it as a 1-way feed - so i get copies of all emails on outlook, without touching the original message - therefore becoming a backup. Does mean I have to file everything twice, but don't get many emails I want to keep. Alternatively, you could do
    Handset <--> Google <--> Outlook
    Which would full sync between outlook & google
    Either way, you get a backup of all your mail on your home PC, without the need to use HTC Sync, or to ever connect your phone directly to your PC
     
  15. KlaymenDK

    KlaymenDK Well-Known Member

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    +1 on that one, mate :(

    Funny how, for all the mountain of data and mining that Google has and does, they don't provide backups for cases like this. Redundancy, sure, but you can't roll back to the state of Thursday of last week. Would I worry more if they did this? No, because they already have my data, how could it matter if they have that same data twice...

    But if you make a backup using WaveSecure, then zap your account, then restore your backup, and finally sync your phone -- shouldn't the newly restored data just be zapped as well? That's what I would expect, looking at it logically. For obvious reasons, this is but a thought experiment!

    Contacts are not that easy. Last I tried (which was about a year ago), only about 1/3rd of the full data set survived a round trip. That is a far cry from a backup. :(
     
  16. nx1977

    nx1977 Well-Known Member

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    Had a thought on this today after mybackup pro failed to backup AGAIN since updating it Friday :eek:

    Does Wave secure append or replace when backing up? As in if you lost stuff, but didnt know, then restored, would you recover everything?
     

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