Skip to main content

GMail accidentally resets user accounts

So here's an update on the latest mess up by Google. Apparently, Google has accidentally reset the GMail accounts of an estimated number of 150,000 customers. Though the percentage of user's who's accounts have been affected are less that 0.08%, nevertheless, the situation seems scary enough.

A loss of years of mail on a GMail account is a scary prospect. We often have loads of files, critical data and important conversations on GMail, and to log in and not be able to see any of these would be enough to wreck someone.

But we don't pay Google for the service, you may say. So why is it Google's responsibility to ensure the safety of our mail? The answer is that by participating in GMail, we are entering Google's business model and it is through our participation that Google earns its revenues. So it is indeed Google's responsibility to ensure that our data remains safe, so that we remain within their business model.

So how hard have the users of GMail been affected? Though I was lucky to not be affected, it seems that the accounts of users have been completely reset, and all that they can see in their inbox are the welcome messages from Google. Google is providing updates on the issue here.

Given our increasing dependence on the cloud, it was inevitable that something of this nature should happen. It is high time that we stop falling in for such gimmicks and go back to the good old-fashioned method of backups on hard-drives and DVDs. However, as a previous post points out, even DVDs are not safe media for backup in case you use Windows.

So how do you back up your GMail account? Use Mozilla Thunderbird or any other email client and make periodic backups of your e-mail using POP. Do not use IMAP. The mails on your computer may be deleted in case of a failure like this one. Or you may use GetMail in case you are on a *NIX system.

So, keep in mind the lesson to be learnt, you can never trust even the best software company out there. Sometimes the good old-fashioned backups and copies help. Now, where did I place those DVD-Rs?

Look out for some more Google-bashing in the days to come.


Popular posts from this blog

Progressive Snapshot: Is it worth it?

I turned 25 last year, which in the highly mathematical and calculating eyes of the US insurance industry meant that I had suddenly matured into a much more responsible driver than I was at 24 years and 364 days of age. As a result, I expected my insurance rates to go down. Imagine my surprise when my insurance renewal notice from GEICO actually quoted a $50 increase in my insurance rates. To me, this was a clear signal that it was time to switch companies.Typically, I score really high on brand loyalty. I tend to stick with a brand for as long as possible, unless they really mess up. This qualified as a major mess up. As a result, I started shopping for insurance quotes.Two companies that quoted me significantly lower rates (30%–40% lower) were Progressive and Allstate. Both had an optional programme that could give me further discounts based on my consenting to the companies tracking my driving habits. Now, I am a careful driver – I hardly ever accelerate hard. I hate using the brak…

Build those noise cancelling headphones

So, here's another DIYLet me start by putting the cart before the horse. I shall start with the credits. This project was done while I was working on my Electronics Design Lab, along with my friends, Srujan M and Indrasen Bhattacharya. The work would not have been possible without the generous help received from the staff at Wadhwani Electronics Laboratory, who ensured that the only thing we did right was to leave the lab on time. This project would also not have been possible without the guidance of our dear and learned professors. It would probably have just about become additional dead weight on the head.Enough with the credits, now, I need to dive right into noise cancellation and how it works.The essence of sound is a pressure wave. The pressure wave, when incident on the eardrum sets into motion the complex mechanisms inside the ear, and after a long path, rather like the Cog advertisement, ends up making some nerves vibrate. The nerves send electrical signals to the brain, …

The joy of receiving a handwritten letter...

I receive around 20 emails a day. I hit delete for most.While studying letter writing in school, I often used to wonder, is letter writing relevant any more? I mean, who sends snail mail? Isn't it much more convenient to write an email?Fast forward to a few days ago... I received a note, not really a letter, from a friend, whom I had the pleasure to know for over three months. The pleasure of reading the note really changed my perception about the composition exercise learnt in school.So, what is it that a handwritten letter has which email lacks? Maybe it is the personal touch, the realization that a person has written the letter, and that it has not been written by a computer. Handwriting just happens to add a personal touch which the cold hard sans-serif font of email just cannot capture.I also think that handwritten letters take time and effort into composition. This means that they generally have a better content than email, which is often written casually, in a hurry with l…