Getting Away From Google Contacts: Strategies?


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  1. PeteCress

    PeteCress Well-Known Member

    Call me paranoid, but I don't feel comfortable having my contacts sync'd with Google Contacts.

    One aspect: it seems to me it's just a matter of time until somebody harvests them and all those email addresses that people gave me in confidence become fodder for the spam 'bots.

    Besides deleting all my contracts from Google Contacts and turning off the sync with gMail in my address book, is there anything else to consider?

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  2. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen too much spam since Gmail started - however I don't back up contacts with Google, don't sync either. I prefer GMX mail, so I took to using Aquamail which supports GMX very well. I'm fairly careful about who gets Gmail address. I have throwaway accounts I use for doubtful sites.

    However - I've found that Google bundles a lot in services. Google's new policy about browsers - only new ones supported - is depriving some of controls on Google Dashboard. You have to use Dashboard on the computer to get rid of some stuff or change it. I can't get to all the controls in FX ESR - which is current, it only gets security updates. It's version 10.07 so to Google - that's an outdated browser, but companies use it since the rapid updates to regular FX can cause problems.

    If you use Picasa or +, thumbnails from both are liable to turn up in gallery. I quit Picasa and Blogger, but can't delete those parts of accounts since they are tied to Gmail account.

    I am not particularly paranoid - I just don't believe in putting all eggs in one basket.
    For instance - I also use Ubuntu - Linux has different browsers along with FX and Chrome. If I back up my bookmarks and email as HTML or text - it's available to any browser or email program that uses HTML and TXT. If the XP laptop craps out - I can simply use the Ubuntu desktop with no problems or loss of info.
  3. Mostly Harmless

    Mostly Harmless Well-Known Member Contributor

    You are paranoid. Google contacts is the best and easiest way to keep your contacts. What's better then signing into a brand new phone and pop all that information is there, or if you are on a computer and need to grab a phone number, easy enough with Google.

    I may be a Google fanboy, but I have a lot of confidence in Google and their products, the gave us this wonderful operating system, why would they go and mess it up by selling your contacts information? Doesn't seem like a good strategy for them.
  4. PeteCress

    PeteCress Well-Known Member

    I do not think anybody is disputing the convenience and overall slick-ness of the Google environment.

    Google's marketing of contacts information was not what I had in mind.

    I was thinking more along the lines of somebody taking that information without Google's permission - like the hacking incident a couple of years ago in China.

    Also in the back of my mind was a sync gone wrong. That happened to me when "Upgrading" (quotes out of cynicism...) my iPod to OS6. The upgrade process seemed to be designed to encourage people to use Apples Cloud (which seems tb an analog of Google's environment).

    Dunno what happened - although my guess was that I fat-fingered some dialog or another - but my contacts got totally hosed. Not one survived.

    I had backup, but it was a week out-of-date because iTunes had suddenly decided it did not like my iPod and I fell behind on backups... but it could have gone even more sideways a couple of different ways.

    And, of course, Google Maps went away with that "Upgrade" (courtesy of Apple Marketing) and they killed the podcast functionality in the music player - replacing it with a separate Podcast app... Which added absolutely nothing to the user experience and, therefore, made me wonder when the other shoe was going to drop podcast-wise.

    In fact, that was the proximate cause of my migration to Android: control over my data and system.

    I just spent most of this morning massaging my Galaxy Note's contacts so that all the Groups are populated and now I think I'll just retire the iPod as a Contact Manager.

    And yeah, I do see myself as a little paranoid....
  5. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    Now I do have confidence in Google to keep my Contacts, Gmail and Calander safe, synced and up-to-date, and I live in China and have multiple Chinese devices synced to it.
  6. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

    OP you are far too paranoid.

    If you are as paranoid as I am, just turn on 2 factor authentication and put your mind at ease. Google has always been great at security, starting with being the first free web email provider to offer full SSL encryption during the entire email browsing session. It took years for Hotmail to follow suit, and Yahoo still has not offered this, a major mistake.

    Google is also a pioneer with the 2 factor authentication, something that rivals enterprise security with their SecurID devices.

    What I do is also back up my Google contacts periodically by exporting them offline to various formats (Google, Outlook, VCS) and saving them in offline files.

    This is far far far better than the old days of having my contacts in a proprietary offline format, like my Palm / Treo devices, having to sync physically through a slow Palm cable to update my contacts / calendars.

    It is also far better than my Blackberry days of synching as well, where I had to rely on Outlook (which I hate) and BES.

    Also don't compare Android / Gmail to iOS. My iPhone 4S lost 70% of its music during the upgrade from iPOS 5.0 to iPOS 6.0. iTunes is one of the worst software I have to use. Gmail by comparison is pretty flawless and awesome.

    Getting away from Google Contacts is very strange, imho. If you're really that paranoid, and your contacts are really *that* secret and valuable, then perhaps you should get away from Google, or any cloud based solutions...
    KENNECTED likes this.
  7. Knocks

    Knocks Active Member

    If those are you real concerns, then you should also delete all your read messages and empty your Trash folder every time before logging out. It would also benefit you to stop using WiFi as well as all non-https connections.
  8. PeteCress

    PeteCress Well-Known Member

    Thanks. You've got me feeling better about this.

    Thanks again - for the validation. I have never, *ever* gone through an Apple upgrade to IOS or iTunes without having problems - sometimes *major* problems as when it hosed my music directories so it took me 2 weeks of part-time work to recover.

    The Apple enthusiasts get all bent out of shape when somebody reports stuff like that - as in "Well, you're the only one...what did you do wrong?". But I've been developing software for a lot of years and I get a strong impression that iTunes is not so pretty under-the-hood.... or, at least, Apple is trying to do too much...

    I don't think I'm *that* paranoid.... but the China thing plus reading an article recently on all the address-type info that Google collects unbeknownst to the user... plus probably losing my Apple address book to some sort of cloud-related process got me spun up on the subject.

    Maybe I'll switch to decafe and think this over for awhile.... -)
  9. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

    Glad you feel better. Funny, as of right now I can't log into my Hotmail account (it's a super old account I've had for over 15 years and can't seem to get rid of).

    I hope my hotmail is not hacked. Wish it had Google 2 factor authentication.
  10. PeteCress

    PeteCress Well-Known Member

  11. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    Hotmail redid itself last month - has pulled some funnies. You might have to check a users forum.

    Who I have in contacts is none of Google's business. I don't think they are doing anything malicious, but it's still none of their business. You can export the address book.

    I'd almost sooner pay for the OS since I am using it my way.

    I'd had it with MS thinking it knew better than you about what you wanted. I had other sites I used before Google, and see no reason to change. I like Flickr, so why use Picasa? Why should I be pestered to join Google+ when I don't bother with social sites? It is no business of Google's if I have another cloud storage app on the computer and can use that instead of Google's offering. It is also no business of Google's if I use a mail aggregator rather than Gmail. I have other accounts all over.
    I use Thunderbird on the computer, and I have it set to delete mail from Gmail, I download mail I wish to keep to the desktop.

    I do not need to be pestered. I just got pestered thoroughly on Play store. Couldn't log out on PC - Big old message about joining + hid the logout. This went on for about 2 weeks.
  12. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    The bit about MS seemed offhand and not in correlation with the rest of the rant. What exactly is it about? I've found Windows quite customizeable to how you want it.

    Anyway the easy answer as to why Google has those adverts to join their services everywhere is of course because they earn more if you use their services. Its something you have to put up with by using what they give you. Its just like how iOS forces you to use Apple services, and Win8 does to a much lesser extent (depending on version and what you want to do). At least Google doesn't force you, it just shows you ads. And the ads had x-boxes if I remember correctly.

    Anyway, basically, yes it is Google's business to try to get you to use their services because that means more income for them.
  13. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    That ad for + on Play didn't have a close x. Probably because I use NoScript and didn't enable something.

    I don't use Windows services. Just the OS.

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