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Someone seems to have guessed (or otherwise obtained) my Google password, as I received two e-mails to my alternative (non-Google) e-mail account which I provided to Google. One was about a sign-in from a previously unknown device, and the other one about upgrading my account and adding a new @gmail.com e-mail address to it.

I followed the steps on "You think someone else is using your account." on the Google support page, and I had to enter my alternative e-mail address. I did enter it (the one where I got the notifications) but Google says it doesn't know that address: "Couldn't find your Google Account. Try again."

Does this mean that if someone managed to log in once to my account, they can erase my alternative e-mail address, forever removing any hope of recovery?

migrated from superuser.com Dec 17 '16 at 12:40

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

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I'm not sure about deleting your recovery email. But you can try other recovery options that google offers to you like sms, security question, etc (depending on your settings). And you have to do this as soon as possible.

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Absolutely. If someone has your account password, all they have to do is change your recovery email and phone number, preventing you from getting back in. It's possible that you could call Google and get back in, but that is up to how much you are able to prove your identity to Google. Your best bet with any service is to use Multi-Factor Authentication. Google even offers their own authenticator app Google Authenticator. It works seamlessly with Google and most other online services.

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