two-factor authentication and other worries

After reading this article earlier today, I panicked a little, since I couldn’t remember ever having seen a “recovery key” associated with my Apple account, nor could I find one in KeePass, 1Password, or Evernote. But, when I got home from work, I checked, and it turns out I’ve never enabled two-factor auth on my Apple account. And I do still know the answer to my security questions, though I’d never copied them over from KeePass to 1Password for some reason. (I’ve done that now.)

I was going to go ahead and enable two-factor authentication on my Apple account tonight, but I couldn’t quite make up my mind as to whether it would be a help or a hindrance. I need to think about it some more.

This also made me think about my Google account, and one particular thing I’d been meaning to do for a long time: make a local backup of my GMail data. About a year ago, I read about a tool called Gmvault, and made a note to install it on my desktop PC and start using it. But I never got around to it. Well, now that I’m on a bit of a GTD kick, I went ahead and made a new note about that and put it in my Evernote ‘inbox’. So now I’ve got gmvault installed on my PC, and I’m letting it run. It was easy enough to set up; it’s a pretty simple command-line tool. It looks like it’ll take a couple of hours to run. After the initial sync, it can apparently do incremental syncs, so if I can manage to remember to run it occasionally, I should be in good shape.

Occasionally, you read horror stories about someone losing access to their Apple account or their Google account for one reason or another, and getting caught up in the bureaucracy at those companies and not being able to get their account back. It’s kind of scary, how much of our data we trust to these guys. I try to keep track of everything I’d ever need to restore my access, if I ever get locked out, and I try to keep important stuff backed up locally, whenever I can. But there’s only so much you can do.

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