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Location: Kyoto and Auckland
Work interests: research, editing, science communication
Affiliation/website: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
Preferred contact method: Any
Preferred contact language(s): English, German
Contact: email = researchcooperative-at-gmail-dot-com
Favourite publications: Various, and especially the open access versions of older journals with effective review systems

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Work: ethnobotany, prehistory, museum curation
Affiliations: 1996-present: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka. 1995: Freelance editor, Kyoto. 1994: JSPS Research Visitor, Kyoto University, Kyoto. 1993: Research Visitor, Australian National University, Canberra. 1991: Visiting Researcher, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka.1990: STA Fellow, National Institute for Ornamental Plants, Vegetables, and Tea (NIVOT), Ano, Japan
Contact: National Museum of Ethnology, Senri Expo Park, Suita City, Osaka, Japan 565-8511
Biographical: Established the Research Cooperative in 2001
Favourite Publications: Various

Email account recovery and backup

user image 2014-04-26
By: Research Cooperative
Posted in: Work

Recently my gmail account was hacked... meaning that someone else managed to get my login details, either by testing millions upon millions of username and password combinations or by using spyware on a public computer terminal at an airport or hotel.

Many of my friends and colleagues recieved spam mails as a result (mostly easy to detect Lagos-based spam). Many members of the Research Cooperative may have received a spam mail that appeared to be sent from my account. I apologise if this happened to you. I need to be more careful about where I use public Internet access.

This is difficult for me because I travel a lot, and do need Internet access at airports and hotels.

Perhaps I should keep a separate email account just for travel purposes.

Is this what other people do?

Luckily, I was told about the recent hacking problem by a friend who received the spam mail, very soon after my account was hacked. I was still able to log in and could change my password. All my past email had disappeared though, and I had to contact a Google support page to recover email from a backup at Google. Unfortunately, that may have only worked for relatively recent email since 2012. I am still not sure what was recovered and what was lost.

Now I am convinced that I need to backup my email independently from my email service provider.

There are many ways to do this, and today I found a useful site that explains what to do when an email account is hacked, and how to design or choose a backup system.

See: http://gmailaccountrecovery.blogspot.jp/

This blog does not provide a backup service. It only explains what to do.

Item 6 on the top page of the blog is an explanation of "How to Protect Your Account Details". This is relevant for any email system, not just gmail. The author gives a very nice review of different backup systems that can be used, and backup strategies in general.

This is important for my research and writing efforts because I use email for so much of my communication with students, colleagues, and publishers.

Perhaps every student and researcher should have basic training in email backup systems. This could be part of a general course on "Risk Management in Science".

If any members of our network have had experience of setting up a backup plan for email, please reply to this post, or describe your experience in a new blog post to our network (see "Add a Blog Post" underneath this post).

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