“Hi, Scott. I need your help,” the voice on the other end of the line greets.
“I’m locked out of my Facebook account and can’t get back in because I don’t remember my password. Can you help me?”
While I happily try to assist, I know the chances for success are extremely low.
Facebook, Google and most other online services do not have a phone number you can call, speak to a live person, and have them reset your password.
Instead, your only option is to rummage through their web-based help documentation, submit an online form, and hope the requested information you provided is sufficient for someone to eventually send you instructions on how to get back into your account.
The majority of the time, this fails.
Why Account Recovery Fails
All online services provide you an easy way to recover lost passwords or regain access to your account. The account recovery process typically involves sending an email to your email address or a text message to your cell phone.
So what’s the problem?
Most people never set up their recovery information in Facebook, Gmail, Pinterest, eBay, Amazon, and other commonly used websites.
Those who did when they first created their account seldom update their recovery information when their email address or phone numbers change.
How To Set Up Recovery Information
Each platform differs slightly in how to set up your account recovery information. Here are links to instructions on how to do so on some of the most common websites:
- Facebook – http://bit.ly/recovery-facebook
- Gmail – http://bit.ly/recovery-gmail
- Amazon – http://bit.ly/recovery-amazon
- eBay – http://bit.ly/recovery-ebay
- Pinterest – http://bit.ly/recovery-pinterest
Avoid the frustration of forever losing access to your online accounts. Invest a few minutes right now to take these important steps:
- If you don’t already have a second email address, set up an alternate email address with Gmail (www.gmail.com).
- Log in to each of your online accounts (Facebook, Gmail, Pinterest, eBay, etc.). Configure your recovery options in each of them.
- Associate your cell phone number, if you have one, with the account.
- Set periodic reminders to make sure your account recover information is kept current.