Recovering accounts, random sites
March 4, 2023
In most cases, when your password suddenly won't work with a website or email address, there is a "Forgot password" link. This is where it can get scary. The site may want to send you a code to your phone or your recovery email address, or you'll get asked for answers to your security questions.
What if the site has an old phone number for you? Or what if your recovery email address is the same as the one you're trying to recover, or you haven't used that email address in years and don't know the password for that one? Or what if you and the site disagree about the answers to your security questions?
Sending you a text with a reset code is a great way to reset passwords. It proves you're you because you have your phone, plus it's fast for them and easy for you. If you gave them a landline instead of a cellphone number, some sites can call the number on file and read you the code to reset your password.
Emailing a code or a password reset link to an alternate email address also proves you're you because you can access the other email address.
But what if you don't have a cell phone, landline, or a different email address? Or what if you've changed your phone number or don't remember the password to your other email address?
Then you're stuck with remembering the answers to your security questions. (Where did I meet my spouse? What was my high school best friend's cousin's middle name? Do they want my first full-time job or my first part-time job?) You probably set up the account so long ago that you don't remember the answers.
If all else fails, look around the site for a support chat feature or a phone number.
Even if you can talk to tech support, they may not help you and may tell you they cannot recover your account without the missing information. Then you'll have to make a new email address and let everyone know you've moved. Email addresses, anyway.
Once you get your password reset, check your profile and update everything that isn't right. Reset your security questions, ensure they have your current cell phone number, and add another email address. If you don't have another email address, how about using a trusted family member's email address?
Even if you're not currently having any password problems, when Google, AT&T, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Facebook, or anyone else prompts you to do a security checkup when you log in, do it. Verify your recovery info now to prevent problems later.
If you don't have up-to-date recovery information in your account, Google (Gmail) and Microsoft (Hotmail, Outlook) are hard to reset passwords with. There's no phone number to call, and they don't have a support chat. So always ensure your recovery information is current for both Google and Microsoft. And everywhere else, too.
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The Global Jukebox (TGJ) lets you do just that. Initially launched in 2017 by a musicologist and an anthropologist and kept alive by a multimedia designer, TGJ is free to use. As the site gained popularity, you now need to create a free account to use the site. It's still worth it. The Global Jukebox is at http://www.theglobaljukebox.org/#
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Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has provided Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org.