Google now recovers Gmail passwords via SMS
A new feature of Google Accounts adds a third Gmail password recovery option, in addition to a secondary email address and a secret question.
If you've ever forgotten your Gmail password, you know that the password recovery isn't always hassle-free. For example, you may have forgotten the answer to a custom secret question set a long time ago. Worse than that, your Google Account may contain alternate email addresses that you no longer use, but you might not have updated this in account preferences. In either case, your last chance is the Gmail Help Center and a time-consuming back and forth with the search giant via email.
In addition, it seems many people don't even know how to recover a Gmail password. If you ask Google, recovering passwords is one of the top reasons people visit the Gmail Help Center. That said, the search giant has added the ability to recover your password via text message. It is really quite simple: If you can't remember your Gmail password, simply enter your user name on the password-assistance page, and the system will text you the recovery code.
In order to make this work, you first have to turn the feature on in your Google Account , by following the Change Password Recovery Options link. Simply provide your cellphone number, click Save and you're done.
Google first started fiddling with SMS Messaging in Gmail so this new feature taps the already existing mobile messaging infrastructure. However, there are caveats you should know. Google recommends you add as many password recovery options to your Google Account as possible in order to cover all bases. I disagree. If you have ever fallen prey of ill-minded people who cracked your Gmail account, you'll think twice before turning on all password recovery fetures.
In today's world, so many people use their Gmail accounts as central archives for messages exchanged between friends and family members. In addition, you probably keep passwords and registrations from sites you subscribe to in Gmail. That said, your hacked Gmail account enables cyber criminals to steal your other online identities as they can recover passwords for other sites you subscribed to using the hacked Gmail account. You shouldn't bet that only hackers and cyber criminals hidden behind the veil of online secrecy will try to break into your Gmail acccount.
Those who know you personally and hold any kind of grudge against you are actually the most dangerous. Knowing personal stuff about you, these people could easily guess the answer to your secret question that almost always involves things like "favorite pet," "high school teacher," and so on. The better they know you, the less secure your Gmail account is.
Trust me, I've paid dearly for believing that only I had known answer to my secret Gmail question. When my ex lover hacked my Gmail box (no jokes, please), I've learned the hard way how wrong I had been. My best advice to you is: Only use SMS recovery option. In fact, you should kill all your secondary email addresses, as well as the security question feature in your Google Account. Using password recovery via SMS is the most secure method to date: Your cellphone stays with you all the time and it's way harder to break into than your Gmail inbox.