Submitting Cell Phone Number to Gmail

Dear Computer lady,

I am an elderly senior, using both Yahoo & Gmail e-mail. I have used them for years but now both are requesting that I submit a cell phone no. for added security.

Is this safe info to submit to them & some of us do not use or have a cell phone so what can we do? We do not want to lose our e-mail privileges.

Thank you so much for your most valuable help & service that many of us do use!


Dear Ang,

Yes, it is safe to submit your cell phone number for email security. In the event that you forget your password or it becomes corrupted, one of the ways you can reset the password is through a text message to your cell phone.

If you don’t have a cell phone, however, don’t worry. I don’t believe that either of these providers are making it mandatory to submit a cell phone, and you don’t want to submit a phone number that can’t receive text messages like your home phone because then you would not be able to reset your password with the phone number… believe me, I have tried that and it didn’t work.

One alternative would be to submit the cell phone number of a relative that you trust, and would be able to work with in the event that you lose access to your email.


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    • ron007
    • January 4, 2014

    “Is it safe”? Probably … Maybe … But the simple reality is they are an online web service. Web services get hacked all the time.

    Is your data safe with Google/Yahoo? Maybe… but what about when someone comes along and buys them up? Web companies are bought and sold all the time as their fortunes change. Just because they are strong today is not a guarantee for the future. Look at WordPerfect and RIM (BlackBerry) as 2 examples. The new owners may not meet your approval, but they will have your data.

    Is your data safe with Google / Yahoo? Maybe … but what if they make a business decision to change directions and change their “privacy policy”. You see it all the time, web companies changing the policies all the time. Some are up front about it, but often the change is barely mentioned and then information you thought was private is now public.

    Must you? No. In theory they are offering you a “service” to help you protect your email address. This a response that is based on many help requests they have received. If you think this service is useful, give them a phone number.

    If you don’t think the service is for you, simply make up a number as you type it. They don’t check and it makes the message go away.

    It is YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION. Protect it! If you don’t want to share with some unknown group of people on a web site, DON’T!

    One thing to remember is that you don’t have to be “polite” and tell the truth when dealing with this sort of request. Just fill in the blanks with values that the site accepts. My “favorite” ZIP code is 12345 (it is located some where in New York state), even though I don’t live in that state, or even country! But for sites that insist on a ZIP code, I have one that works for the. Who cares if they now have garbage in their data base, I have what ever gee-gaw I was requesting from them and my privacy has been protected (at least partially).

    Privacy still exists, a little. I concede it is on it’s way out, but is not completely dead yet.

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