I acquired a Hotmail email address when it was in its infancy, within a few weeks of their beginning, I think. 1996? Something like that. Whatever. It's been a long time. My current email address is a Hotmail account I've had since about 97, and was the second I set up there.
I just tried to sign in an the system is now requiring me to enter a phone number, which I never have done. I've been annoyed that if I open YouTube while signed in to the Blogger/Google godhead, the system in YouTube demands I set up a user name there, blah blah blah. I X out of it, sign out of the other and then open YouTube with a la di da and no hassles.
Sorry. For a great long while I've known there's no absolute anonymity on the intarwebs, and I realize that all these systems track from which machines you sign in, etc, but I have, until now, resisted entering phone numbers that link all that mess together. Looks like there will be no way around it, or I'll lose my Hotmail account, which is my only link with some folks. This is a dilemma, to me. I'm annoyed, to say the least. Signing in, the system said I have 7 days to enter the information.
They'll close my account?
Maybe it's time I pay for an account with someone/something that doesn't share all its information with the Googleborg. Anyone have suggestions for a different email system?
Okay -- update-- it just wanted a phone number if I didn't enter a new alternative email address, which I have done. I think it's only a matter of time before the phone number is demanded, too. Still, time to start paying for an independent service, I think? I'd appreciate any suggestions.
I'd just make up a number or something. 867-5309, maybe?
Nominally the phone number is to give them a means of authenticating password reset requests, so you don't end up with your dirty laundry aired like Sarah Palin's was.
But I'm still not giving them a phone number. I use a paid account that came with my Internet service for official business, and my various free accounts are spam bait for when I have to register with a site (forum, whatever) that I'm not sure I'll frequent. Or that I think will sell me out. And my Gmail account is just so I can use the Googleplex's facilities, like Blogger.
I use my work number.
It has to be a phone number. Information in Bad Nauheim, Federal Republic of Germany comes to mind.
I always 'accidentally' transpose two digits of my number when a website requires a phone number. Totally by accident, of course. Really.
But, I use a Yahoo email account and they have never asked for a phone number.
Just pick a nonsense number, and use that for all of these private "requests".
They are selling your info, count on it. Give them garbage to sell.
As ivyan noted, 867-5309 is good. Anyone with a clue knows it's a bullcrap number. Feb 30th also makes a good birthdate.
I have paid email with my previous employer, that phone company with the Death Star logo. I used to feel that my privacy was 100% secure since I knew that the people who worked on the service were too droolingly incompetent to do much beyond keeping the mail flowing, but then the mail was outsourced to Yahoo, a Googleborg wannabe, doubly so since the head cheerleader became CEO IMHO.
I may change providers one day, but I still have the account since being the Googleborg is hard and I don't think the current Yahoo CEO has what it takes to cross that many ethical lines no matter where she worked before. Recommended with reservations; just don't let the Death Star sign you up for Uverse.
I also keep my Hotmail/Outlook.com ID active as an "if all else fails" backup. Microsoft isn't high on Googleborg-level competence these days, and I believe their brush with anti-trust breakup in the 90s tempers their enthusiasm for ad-related privacy invasion.
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