A Google account offers access to numerous popular and often times important services. This includes access to the popular Gmail email service, Google Docs for storing documents but also access to Google Adsense or Adwords for webmasters.
Losing an account, either by forgetting the password or email address associated with it or by a successful hacking attempt can be devastating.
The common security options to avoid this horror scenario are to add a secondary email and a security question to the account that can be used to recover the account should the need arise.
Update: The feature is now available for users from all over the world and not only the United States.
Google users have another option that Google added recently: the ability to recover an account password by SMS using a mobile phone number that you add to your account.
The option is currently only visible to US visitors. The Googlesystem blog suggested to use a US proxy server so that the option would become visible to users from other countries as well. I personally would not be using a proxy server to log into important web account. The possibility is there however and you can check out their blog post for some pointers. It is apparently possible to select another country from the list which makes it strange why they are not enabling the option for all users.
Users from the US or those using a US based proxy can open the Google Accounts page to enter a cell phone number as an additional method of restoring a Google account. It is likely that Google will roll out the feature soon for other countries as well.
The easiest option to do so right now is to visit the Personal Info page at this address on the Google website. There you find email & phone listed on the right and an edit button underneath.
A click on edit enables you to add or edit email address or phone numbers to your account. Note that you may need to verify the phone number when you add it to your account for the first time. This is a safety precaution to make sure that it can receive SMS.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.