Monday, December 26, 2011

Your Blogger Account: Privacy Vs Account Recovery

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we see questions about publishing a blog, anonymously.
How do I publish a blog, without having my identity revealed?
One of the best techniques for keeping yourself anonymous is to use different Blogger / Google accounts, for different blogs. But, there's a downside to that technique.
I can't regain access to my blog, because I don't remember the email address!
Sometimes, it's a bit more embarrassing.
I can't regain access to my blog, because I don't remember the GMail address!
And here, we see blog owners who took the need for secrecy a bit far.

Regardless of whether a Blogger account is based on a GMail, or a non GMail address, backup access - should one forget the account name or password - uses the email address.

You can't maintain anonymity, if you ever have to reveal your email address.
If you want to publish your blog without revealing your identity, that's fine - Blogger permits this - and even supports your need. In order to support this need, though, you have to allow them to refuse to disclose any personal details.

Neither the account name - or email address, should you forget either, can be disclosed, without revealing your identity.

If you maintain email account access, you can always recover Blogger access.
One of the reasons for using one's email address (Gmail, or non GMail) as your Blogger account name is so you won't forget the account name. If you forget your email address, you'll have worse problems than just inability to publish your Blogger blog.

You need your Blogger account based on an active email address.
Unfortunately, if you choose to use one "email address" to read and send your email, and a second "email address" (whether bogus, or genuine) to publish a Blogger blog, you are not as likely to remember your Blogger account name. That's a decision that you have to make. If you want to publish your blog anonymously, don't expect Blogger to gratuitously break your anonymity, later.

If you forget an identity detail, you must break anonymity.
In this case, you're going to have to hope that you can supply your email account hosts - either GMail, or non GMail - with enough personal details (anonymity not possible, now) so they can restore your email account, and / or recover access to your Inbox - and you can open the Blogger account recovery message, and regain access to your Blogger account.

If you'e forgotten the backup email address of the active account, again, don't expect Blogger to tell you what you need to remember. Now, you'll have do do some research, and hope that you can find the forgotten email address mentioned in email, in one of your remembered accounts - or maybe in a friends email account.

You'll have problem with a deleted / locked account or blog, without email.
This scenario will be intensified, when a blog is deleted for any of several different reasons - possibly including accused DMCA Violation.

There is one valid reason to have multiple email addresses.
There is one reason to maintain two (or more) email addresses. If you have a small business, or you communicate through your blog using email, don't use your Blogger account email for casual contact with the public.

Here, using two (or more) email addresses makes sense - but maintain Blogger account names and email addresses, constantly.

Use Google Two Step Verification, for extra protection.
At any rate, if you're able to recover access, this time, consider using Two Step Verification, for future protection. Especially if you travel.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Daves' Diary said...

Why do bloggers look for anonymity? By the very nature of the blogging platform surely it is about hitting an audience. Why do people hide? Are they scared of what they say?

Mike DeNeut said...

I agree... I don't see why when the Internet has been around for 10-12 years, why so many can't even talk to people or be friendly anymore?

@wilkow1 said...

I personally prefer anonymity due to the nature of my blogs. They tend to cause some violent reactions, and having my name out there just invites a stalker type confrontation at my doorstep. Just sayin'.

Chuck Croll said...

You're entitled to be anonymous, if that is your decision.

The more anonymity, the more responsibility that you must accept, for maintaining and remembering your account name and password.

Your decision, your responsibility.