1. TechTimid's Avatar
    I never wanted a Google account or Gmail, although I use Google for my main search engine online. I've heard a lot of stories about Google scanning your private emails and keeping personal info that is unrelated to online ads.

    I have no email set up yet on my smartphone, because I was hesitant to sign up with Google. If I have to, I will, but prefer to have the choice.

    I notice most of the apps that came on my phone are Google related. Do you have to have a Google account to use all the features on your smartphone?
    01-23-2019 06:55 PM
  2. L0n3N1nja's Avatar
    To my knowledge its the only way to gain access to the play store to download and update apps. It's not like you're forced to use the account for emails or anything else.
    TechTimid likes this.
    01-23-2019 09:00 PM
  3. TechTimid's Avatar
    Thanks for your reply LOn3Ninja, it looked like it said that the username I chose for the Google account would also be used for my Gmail account, but I guess you're right, even if I had one I wouldn't be obligated to use it.
    01-23-2019 09:33 PM
  4. TechTimid's Avatar
    When I register for a Google account on my phone, will there be an option not to have them 'back up' all the files and photos that are on my smartphone?

    I prefer for Google not to have a copy saved of all my personal pics and files. I don't plan on having anything important saved on my phone that would need to be retrieved, even the photos will be transferred to my home desktop computer and deleted from my phone after I do the transfer.
    01-24-2019 10:14 AM
  5. Javier P's Avatar
    When I register for a Google account on my phone, will there be an option not to have them 'back up' all the files and photos that are on my smartphone?

    I prefer for Google not to have a copy saved of all my personal pics and files. I don't plan on having anything important saved on my phone that would need to be retrieved, even the photos will be transferred to my home desktop computer and deleted from my phone after I do the transfer.
    You can select which information will sync with that Google account in settings - Users & accounts - tap the Google account - Account sync - switch everything off. To be in the safe side open Google Photos - hamburger icon top left - settings - back up & sync - switch it off.
    TechTimid likes this.
    01-24-2019 10:21 AM
  6. TechTimid's Avatar
    Thanks for the advice Javier!
    Javier P likes this.
    01-24-2019 10:31 AM
  7. Rukbat's Avatar
    Also, as a long time (and long retired) developer, who knows some Google developers, I can assure you that, aside from it being a great way of getting summarily fired (as in "let's take a walk to the door - we'll ship you any personal stuff we find in your desk"), Google developers just do not have the time to go through the millions of emails that go through their servers every day. (And if you're in a position in a company like Google, in which you are able to access customers' data, the agreement you sign before you get that access basically allows them to ship your body to Mars on the next SpaceX flight if you're caught doing it for any reason than something legitimate. (Like you call because your emails are getting translated into gibberish, or because your contacts refuse to stay alphabetized, or something like that. And they always tell you - and the conversation is recorded - "I have to look at your <whatever kind of data it is> - do I have your permission to do that". If you say "no", they can't help you, but they won't look. If you say "yes", you know they're doing it.

    Developing software isn't done in closed booths, with developers sitting around with nothing to do most of the time - it's a 9 to 5 job that you usually get into by about 8:30 and you rarely leave by 5:30 - and that's just to do the assigned work. Oh, sure, they probably have algorithms looking through your emails for phrases like "kill the president" or "blow up" or other things that you should never put into emails anyway - that's more "read it and eat it" stuff. But the computers that do that kind of thing do it in RAM - your email is scanned, nothing is found, your inbox is empty, so on to the next email address - and none of your data is still on the scanning computer. (It is, of course, retained on the email server until you delete it.)

    I wouldn't worry about Google selling your data, I'd worry more about emails taking too long to get there or getting lost completely. That's internet stuff, not Google stuff. an email address ending in gmail.com isn't great for a business (and look at how many businesses, in 2019, still use gmail.com, yahoo.com, etc.), but as a personal address? I have 5 active gmail addresses and my only complaint is the amount of spam that still gets through with the spam filters. It's too bad that POPFile isn't made for Android - it sure keeps the spam down in Windows. (Oh, and I've had my gmail addresses since it was by invitation only - and never had a "someone looked at my email" problem.) And I doubt that anyone has bothered to look at my Google Pictures backup. If they had, you would have read their obit - death by boredom. (Of course I don't get undressed, stand in front of a full-length mirror and take pictures of myself either. That would probably end in my death - by disgust. I've been looking at this thing [my body] for about 3/4 of a century.)
    01-24-2019 03:21 PM
  8. methodman89's Avatar
    I never wanted a Google account or Gmail, although I use Google for my main search engine online. I've heard a lot of stories about Google scanning your private emails and keeping personal info that is unrelated to online ads.

    I have no email set up yet on my smartphone, because I was hesitant to sign up with Google. If I have to, I will, but prefer to have the choice.

    I notice most of the apps that came on my phone are Google related. Do you have to have a Google account to use all the features on your smartphone?
    Create a new Google account just for the device. Use your old email on your other devices.
    01-24-2019 03:34 PM
  9. TechTimid's Avatar
    Lol Rukbat about the boredom and the pictures. I wasn't even thinking of spam, but that's another thing I heard about accounts with Gmail and Hotmail, etc. Hopefully I'll learn to recognize spam on the phone right away and delete it without 'opening' it. All I 'know' about Google is stuff I've read online, similar to things I've read about Facebook, another account I never had or intend to get. Thanks for your reply.

    Thanks Methodman, I will create an account just for the phone, the only other device I've ever had is my home desktop. I do plan to get my first laptop in the near future, but one tech 'challenge' at a time for me.
    01-24-2019 04:37 PM
  10. methodman89's Avatar
    Lol Rukbat about the boredom and the pictures. I wasn't even thinking of spam, but that's another thing I heard about accounts with Gmail and Hotmail, etc. Hopefully I'll learn to recognize spam on the phone right away and delete it without 'opening' it. All I 'know' about Google is stuff I've read online, similar to things I've read about Facebook, another account I never had or intend to get. Thanks for your reply.

    Thanks Methodman, I will create an account just for the phone, the only other device I've ever had is my home desktop. I do plan to get my first laptop in the near future, but one tech 'challenge' at a time for me.
    You can use an app like Pushbullet to see notifications and texting from your phone to your computer if it helps.
    TechTimid likes this.
    01-25-2019 09:00 PM
  11. TechTimid's Avatar
    Thanks everyone for your replies. I registered for a Google account and email on my phone and my husbands. As you suggested, for now I chose to not have them keep records of my files, voice or activity on the phone. Each day I do and learn a little bit more, and am thankful to have such a nice group of folks here help answer my questions and help me understand.

    Thank You!
    Morty2264 likes this.
    01-26-2019 06:31 PM
  12. Morty2264's Avatar
    Thanks everyone for your replies. I registered for a Google account and email on my phone and my husbands. As you suggested, for now I chose to not have them keep records of my files, voice or activity on the phone. Each day I do and learn a little bit more, and am thankful to have such a nice group of folks here help answer my questions and help me understand.

    Thank You!
    Glad you got the help you needed! I have a Google account that I don't use for things like emails; but now I'm slowly starting to use it for things like photos. Enjoy your phone!
    TechTimid likes this.
    01-26-2019 07:00 PM

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